A large fraction of the world has planted itself in front of screens, anticipating the beginning of the 2020 Summer Olympics. Having missed the opportunity last year due to the novel coronavirus, audiences as well as athletes have been eagerly waiting for this moment to arrive. This year 5 additional sports have been added to the roster, including baseball and softball, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing. Last night marked the airing of the first ever men’s street competition that left viewers hanging off the edges of their seats.
The contest had a very strict and structured system. Competitors produced a total of seven scores, two 45 second runs around the massive skate park and five tricks, hand-picked by the participant. Each sector was scored on a scale of ten, and the best four scores were tallied up to yield the final result. The score-board fluctuated all throughout both the preliminaries as well as the finals, leaving for a wild and unpredictable viewing experience.
Nyjah Huston of America was expected to win gold as he holds the current number 1 world ranking in skateboarding. However, while he began the finals with a solid spot in the top 3, he began to falter and earned 4 zeros in best trick, one of them landing into his final score. This shifted the weight onto the shoulders of Jagger Eaton, a 20-year-old skateboarder from Arizona. His consistency and one phenomenal 9.40 were able to knock him into 3rd place, winning the bronze medal for America. Silver was won by Kelvin Hoeffler of Brazil, a long-time skater as well as a tough competitor to beat. Hoeffler held first for a while after landing 3 solid 8’s in a row, but faltered in the middle leaving him in second.
In the end, gold was awarded to Yuto Horigome, who after a rough start, was able to build back his score in the trick portion of the competition. His final score was a 37.18, a sum of 4 nines, making him unbeatable. After earning gold, Horigome expressed his gratitude for this win, especially since he was competing only eight miles away from where he grew up.