Street League begins Olympic push
Street League Skateboarding (SLS) president Brian Atlas officially endorsed the International Skateboarding Federation (ISF) for recognition as the sport's global governing body by the International Olympic Committee Tuesday. He also announced that the SLS Super Crown World Championship will become the official ISF World Championship event through a new partnership.
"There are a few conflicting schools of thought about whether skateboarding should be on the Olympic stage, and ultimately we decided that if it's even potentially headed in that direction then we're big believers that it has to be in the right hands," Atlas told XGames.com.
Atlas said that details of the partnership and what it means for how Street League will evolve are still being worked out, but will likely include the development of a new global series of qualification events as a pathway to the SLS Super Crown World Championship and the addition of women's Street League competition. The news comes just one week before a contingent of ISF delegates and pro skateboarders, including previous SLS Super Crown champions Chris Cole and Sean Malto, is set to showcase skateboarding as an exhibition event in the Sports Lab at the IOC's Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.
"I'm thrilled: it's such a cool thing and such a turning point for skateboarding, and for me to be involved in it furthers my desire in writing a great life story and being majorly involved in the progress and growth of skateboarding," Cole, the 2013 SLS Super Crown champion and three-time X Games Skateboard Street gold medalist, told XGames.com. "I feel like it's time. The Olympics has the largest sports outreach in the entire world, and has forever, and their huge initiative is to make it relevant to the youth of the world. They've done very well with the addition of snow sports and snowboarding in particular, and now it's time to take the right step with skateboarding. Millions and millions of kids skateboard around the world."
Atlas said he had been working with ISF president Gary Ream prior to Tuesday's announcement and will now be officially collaborating with the ISF, with the Olympics in mind and otherwise, to better serve the global competitive skateboarding community.
Ream, who is also the founder and president of Camp Woodward, has been leading discussions with Christophe Dubi, sport director for the IOC, about a possible Olympic debut for the sport. Those talks stalled before the official deadlines for inclusion in the 2016 Rio Summer Games in Brazil and the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games in Japan, but Ream and several other people close to the discussion have suggested 2020 may still be a possibility.