Myrtle Beach skateboarders excited for sport to make Olympic debut

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 5:55 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Skateboarding is officially making its debut as one of five new sports at the Tokyo Olympics this year.

Around 7.000 miles away, skaters in Myrtle Beach say they’re excited about the sport’s inclusion.

“It’s a really, really big deal,” Michael Covello said.

Covello has been looking forward to seeing skateboarding on the world stage for a long time.

“Seeing skateboarding go global is a dream of mine,” he said. “I think that would be awesome.”

Skaters hope seeing the sport on the world stage will help it grow.

“It’ll probably attract some new followers,” Rick Wilson said. “Get people interested who were once skating before, get them back on the board.”

Skateboarding joins karate, sport climbing and surfing as sports making their debut in Tokyo. Baseball and softball are also returning after being absent in 2012 and 2016.

Skaters also hope the extra exposure the sport is likely to bring will get rid of negative stereotypes.

“I think a lot of people nowadays see skateboarders as kind of a sketchy type of people,” Corvello said. “But I think everybody out here at least, they’re some of the best people you’ll ever meet. Skaters are awesome. They’re always super friendly to help new skaters and stuff like that, so they’re all really, really awesome.”

Skateboarding begins at the Olympics at 7:30 p.m. Saturday with men’s preliminary runs. It will air on USA.

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