Janwaar goes Olympic :-)
Sepi – one of the Janwaar skateboarders. Photo by Vicky Roy
It’s official – skateboarding will become an olympic discipline in the 2020 summer games in Tokyo.
While many athlets would be happy to see their “sport” included in the olympic program this vision isn’t always shared in the worldwide skateboarding community. Skateboarders have signed a petition NOT to include their sport in the Olympics. Many of them see the Olympic Games as one bridge too far for the formalization of skateboarding as a commercial sport. They’d rather keep it out of this loop and continue to cherish it as ones individual creative activity and fun. Fair deal. Especially when one includes the perspective where skateboarding comes from and what it stands for: Skateboarding is a subculture with a history of being the sport of teenage rebellion, and skate parks have always been signified as sites of social resistance.
It’s hard to say how our kids in Janwaar see this. The olympic idea and how it has evolved is too far away from them to be properly discussed. For them competition and community don’t seem to be a contradiction. Skateboarding has brought them together, has created something like common values and a sense of belonging – still they love to compete. And by doing so they help each other and drive all forward. Actually in a pure olympic sense 🙂
We’ll see where it goes. From a development point of view there is a fair chance that the package can go along with better infrastructure for the village, it can create sources of income and certainly fun! We definitely will keep an eye on that and start some activities which will be announced soon which support the olympic idea in its true sense. And we are sure – another four years down the line – the Janwaar kids will have their own perspective on this. And they will take their stand. Great work in progress so to speak!