As skateboarding prepares to make its Olympic bow in Tokyo, Aussie star Shane O’Neill can’t wait to display his skills to the world.
As the country’s leading ranked male street skater, O’Neill, 31, has high wish for Tokyo.
“Gold would be cool, it would be the first time as a skateboarder I will be competing for anything other than myself,” he stated.
“To bring home a medal for your country would be cool, I’m looking forward to it.
“I never planned for the sport to be in the Olympics in all my years of skateboarding. It’s crazy.”
Three other Aussie skaters – Keegan Palmer, 18, Poppy Starr Olsen, 21, and Hayley Wilson, 19 – have actually likewise certified.
Medals will be up for grabs throughout the disciplines of street and park for both males and females.
O’Neill, a previous world champ, matured in Werribee and Glenroy in Melbourne’s western suburban areas and as a teen took public transportation to skate with pals in the CBD.
He stated there has actually been a substantial shift in his time within the sport as professional athletes do anything they can to get ahead.
“Skateboarding is so big now, there is a huge athletic and health aspect to everything,” O’Neill stated.
“There definitely has been a switch when it comes to the seriousness in how people take it. There are a lot of people interested in the competitions.”
O’Neill is so prominent within the sport that Nike partnered with him in 2020 to establish ‘the Shane’ — a signature skateboarding shoe.
“It’s the biggest achievement in my career,” he stated.
“Getting a shoe with Nike is near impossible.”
Like lots of professional athletes, he understands Tokyo is most likely to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“After the year we have had in 2020, the fact that these Games are happening is pretty incredible,” he stated.
“It will be very interesting having such a large contest broadcast to the world, but with no spectators. It will be a different experience to previous Olympic Games.”
He hopes the Olympics will shine a favorable light on the sport and motivate more of his fellow citizens to take it up.