Japanese vigour at the Skateboarding Olympics

Funa Nakayama skating Credit: Funa Nakayama, Instagram

From the streets to the world´s most prestigious sports event; Japanese street skateboarding champions aim to lead in the 2024 Olympics.

Debuted in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, skateboarding has never been more popular, especially in Japan; now expecting more than 20 exceptional Japanese skaters to compete in Paris. 

“The level of Japanese skateboarders is high and the real battle begins here,” said the skating world champion, Sora Shirai. 

This summer, Japan can potentially earn up the three men´s and three women´s berths in Paris. The current list of Japan´s top 10 skateboarders is now dominated by Shirai, Kairi Netsuke, Ginwoo Onodera, Yuto Horigome and Toa Sasaki in the men´s team and Momiji Nishiya, Oda Yumeka, Liz Akama, Funa Nakayama, Coco Yoshizawa and Miyu Ito in the women´s league.

Having developed in the United States during the 1950s, skateboarding began its expansion alongside surfing and has by now reached a global level. With the increasing development of street skateboarding and its culture, the sport gained a large following in Japan. 

The head of World Skate, Niall Neesom, explained the appeal of skateboarding in Japan: “The thing about Japan is it grafts schools on other movements. There are Japanese schools in art. There are Japanese schools in jazz. And there are Japanese schools in skateboarding.”

“I only see myself winning the title,” said the 15-year-old Oda Yumeka, one of the young Japanese skaters to claim the 2024 Olympic title.

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Written by

Anna Akopyan

Originally from Moscow, with Russian and Armenian origins, Anna has lived in Costa Blanca for over ten years. She is passionate about singing, acting and traveling.