The battle to become an Olympic sport is hard fought. The skating community and governing bodies have been involved in such a battle for a long time. Success, however has seemed out of reach, with the Olympic committee considering reducing the number of sports / events at the Olympic games and the limited spaces for new entries going to competing bids from the likes of golf. Finally, the skating community can celebrate as skateboarding is officially being introduced as an Olympic sport in Tokyo 2020.
It is a proud moment for the skating community as a whole who have previously only had events in the winter Olympics, in the form of ice skating and speed skating disciplines. Yet, despite this major success the question on everyone’s mind is are we going to see inline skating in the Olympics?
Inline skaters participate in a range of competitive events ranging from 200m individual time trials to large marathons filled with competitors. There are also inline skating-sport hybrids such as inline hockey and soccer which have been gaining popularity as well as the hugely popular vert skating. Vert skating is a form of inline stunt skating which uses a half pipe or vert ramp. Aggressive skating is a combination of street and stunt skating which consists of performing grinds on rails and ledges as well as jumping gaps (jumping from heights) and once entered into a skate park can be combine with vert skating for an even more fun-filled thrilling experience.
Roller sports, including inline skating are recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and has an international governing body (Federation International de Roller Sports), along with meeting other criteria this has allowed inline speed skating to bid for a place in the 2020 Olympics. The bid is for a selection of disciplines within the spectrum of inline skating events. The events listed in the bid range from the 300m to 15km. The bid does not contain a marathon, however. There is also no mention of inline sports such as inline soccer. Vert skating was also absent from the 2020 bid despite its huge popularity.
As well as inline skating, many are calling for roller skating to also join the Olympics. Roller skating is, in many ways, similar to inline skating but uses a different type of boot which supports wheels in a two by two formation as opposed to the single file 2-5 wheels on inline skates. Roller skating has some different disciplines such as roller hockey – hockey which is played on roller skates. The team sport of roller hockey is a fan favourite to gain Olympic status at some point, despite no immediate signs of its inclusion in the games nor mention of inline hockey in the 2020 bid.
It is clear that inline skating has all the makings of an Olympic sport and many people would love to see it given the new status in time for Tokyo 2020. It is already a massively loved sport in many countries with huge success coming from Colombia, France, and Belgium among others. The arrival of inline skating would of course give you reason to believe roller skating could also claim a place in the Olympics so we could be getting a two-for-one giving the skating community a trio of epic Olympic sports in total.