World Skateboarding Championships

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Heimana Reynolds wins skateboard world title, nears an Olympic goal from age 10

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In February 2009, a 10-year-old Heimana Reynolds was profiled by his local NBC TV station on Oahu.

“My goal is to become a professional skateboarder and compete in the X Games and the Olympics,” he said, according to the report.

Skateboarding would not be added to the Olympics for another seven years. But here Reynolds is, age 21, having just won the world title in park, one of two skateboarding events that debut at the Games in Tokyo.

Reynolds, who wasn’t named to the four-man U.S. national team in March, consolidated his lead in the Olympic qualification rankings by prevailing over a pair of Brazilians in Sao Paulo on Sunday.

A shirtless Reynolds scored 88 points in the final, beating Luis Francisco (85.50) and Pedro Quintas (85).

No more than three Americans can make the Olympic team in the event, which will make it difficult if three-time Olympic halfpipe snowboarding champion Shaun White decides to continue his skateboarding pursuit. White was the sixth-best American, bowing out in the semifinals in 13th place on Saturday in just his second contest since returning to competitive skating last year.

Back to Reynolds. He grew up on the North Shore and attended the Punahou School, where Barack Obama is the most famous alum. His first name is Tahitian, reportedly referring to the power of Jesus’ crown of thorns.

Reynolds, the son of a surfer, proved a natural on land. After pre-teen media profiles, he blossomed into a world silver medalist last year. He won an Olympic qualifier in China in July to take the top spot in the Olympic rankings despite a best career X Games finish of sixth.

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Shaun White eliminated from world skateboarding championships, to decide future

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Shaun White finished 13th at the world skateboarding championships park event in Sao Paulo on Saturday. Now, he will decide if that was a strong enough showing to continue his Tokyo Olympic bid.

“This will be the deciding event,” White said after advancing out of qualifying Thursday in a SporTV video interview. “I basically told myself I’d go here and give it everything I have, and then, after this competition, see how I stack up with the other skaters and then make the decision to fully commit to the Olympics.”

He does not stack up high enough right now to make the first U.S. Olympic skateboarding team of no more than three men in park. Three other Americans advanced from the semifinals to Sunday’s eight-man final. The U.S. also had four of the world’s top eight men in the Olympic ranking as of July 22, after two contests. The team won’t be decided until qualifying competitions wrap up next year.

White, a three-time Olympic halfpipe snowboarding champion, said in July 2019 that he would lighten his snowboard schedule as he returns to skateboarding.

White, 33, entered his first skateboard contest in years last September and called his performance “pretty terrible,” but not surprising given it was his first-ever park event.

White earned five X Games skateboard medals between 2005 and 2011, but all of those came in vert, which is not on the Olympic program.

White hasn’t competed in snowboarding since the PyeongChang Olympics, his longest break in that sport.

White has said he would like to go for a fifth Winter Games in Beijing in 2022. He would be 35, older than any previous Olympic snowboarding champion. He’s already the oldest halfpipe medalist.

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