Large and colorful uniforms, impressive figures, relaxed atmosphere… While remaining faithful to its striking style, skateboarding made a successful debut at the Olympic Games in 2021. “Tokyo was a wonderful experience, if I could, I would do it again”, says Madeleine Larcheron, the youngest of the tricolor delegation in Japan (she was then 15 years old). She and the French skaters will have the opportunity to taste the Olympic atmosphere again, at home, in Paris, in 2024. But before that, the race for qualification is accelerating with the world championships, in Chardja (Emirates Arab States), from January 29 to February 12.
This event could already be decisive since many points, essential in this discipline with a view to taking part in the Olympic Games, will be distributed: the winners of each event – street and park, men and women – will leave with 80,000 points, the runners-up with 64,000 points and third with 54,400 points. By way of comparison, a victory at the French championships brings in only 3,000 points. “If I make a top 3, I’m almost certain to qualify for the Games”assures Vincent Milou, fourth in Tokyo in street and currently sixth in the World Olympic Skateboarding Ranking (OWSR).
To establish this classification, which will be stopped on June 24, 2024, several competitions – spread over five levels – are taken into account and earn a number of points indexed to their importance, the world championships being the most prestigious events. Eighty athletes (twenty per event) will ultimately win the precious sesame.
“Skateboarding is like taking your bike and going for a walk”
“I have very good memories of the Games in 2021, it made me want to go to Paris even more”, confides Vincent Milou. However, even within the community, the arrival of skateboarding on the Olympic program was far from unanimous. “As it’s a very free discipline, it was weird to be at the Games, because you don’t feel like you’re doing sport, explains the 26-year-old Landais. Skateboarding is like taking your bike and riding around town. » For some, the artistic side of skateboarding makes scoring so subjective that competing becomes absurd.
Considered as a separate culture, skateboarding is different from a traditional sport where training, supervision, meticulous organization and competitions punctuate daily life. “It’s a practice that has evolved a lot in the street, in connection with other urban practices such as graffiti and music, with a strong gang phenomenon”, explains Alexis Jauzion, head coach (head coach) of Team Skateboard France. So, priority to the very essence of skateboarding or to the visibility of competitions? For Greg Poissonnier, the two are compatible. “In Tokyo, I saw good skateboarding that was not distorted. The discipline was respected and the skaters were happy to be there »assures the communication manager of the skateboard commission.
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