» CALIFORNIA GEARS UP FOR TOKYO GAMES
The Summer Olympics in Tokyo will have a California accent when the 17-day sports festival opens one year from today.
We’re not talking about “dude” speak, although a Kelly Slater sighting would be the “bomb.”
The Tokyo Games, July 24Aug. 9, will introduce two of California’s emblematic counterculture sports — surfing and skateboarding — in the International Olympic Committee’s continuing fight against aging.
Surfing and skateboarding will join sport climbing, karate and the return of baseball/softball in the Olympic program on a one-time-only basis. The action sports are the latest contributions from the Golden State, which has hatched Olympic sports in beach volleyball, BMX, mountain biking, snowboarding, triathlon and windsurfing.
Surfing and skating provide an appetizing potential for wave master Slater and three-time snowboard gold medalist Shaun White to perform on the Summer Olympics stage.
“There’s a whole group of people in my generation and the generation after me who haven’t had the draw to the Olympics like my parents have,” said Conner Coffin, ranked 12th on the World Surf League men’s championship tour. “Hopefully it will draw more young people and revitalize that viewership.”
The Tokyo Games will feature 10,000 athletes from more than 200 countries competing in 33 sports, including all of those action-packed endeavors that add to the Californication of the Olympics.
Here is a quick look at what to expect when Olympic fever takes hold next summer.
Dude, this one could be “epic.”