Skateboarding set to make its Olympic debut in a Croatian-made Tokyo park

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Source: Oleksandr Kurchev / Unsplash

Skateboarding is one of five new sports which will make their first appearance as an Olympic sport in this year's Tokyo Olympics, and the first ever Olympic skate park which will be used for this competition was designed by five Croatian sports enthusiasts.

The five-member team, led by professional BMX rider Igor Vukadinovic, had gained the experience for the job by organizing and setting up the annual Pannonian Challenge event – a festival-like annual event for skateboarding and BMX riders held in Croatia’s eastern city of Osijek since 1999.

The team had traveled to the Japanese capital last year to prepare the skateboarding and BMX events, which will be held at the Ariake Urban Sports Park in an attractive waterfront area. However, the coronavirus pandemic forced organizers to postpone the Tokyo Olympics to 2021, with the grand opening ceremony scheduled for July 23.

“Setting up the skate park for the historic Olympic Games in Tokyo where BMX Freestyle (cycling) and Skateboarding will make their Olympic debut is a great achievement for us,” said Vukadinovic, who was at the helm of the team that also included fellow enthusiasts Zdenko Liska, Marko Karalic, Edvard Peroli, and Adrian Javor.

The team were invited again in April this year to come to Tokyo and prepare the skate park in Ariake. But Vukadinovic’s involvement with the games will not stop there, Croatian state agency Hina reported.

“I am also honored to have been made part of the competition’s judges,” Vukadinovic said.

The first ever Olympic skateboarding competition will culminate on August 5 in Tokyo with the preliminary heats and final of the men’s park event, which will give fans and of the sport enough time to tune into the 22th edition of the Pannonian Challenge set for August 11-15.

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