The cloud of uncertainty surrounding skateboarding's participation in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is slowly becoming clearer, as Street League looks set to become the main qualifying route for skateboarders around the world.
As reported by insidethegames.biz, SLS has teamed up with World Skate, the official organizing body of skateboarding in the Olympics, to expand the Street League format and have it serve as the major qualifying route for the Olympic Games' 'Street Skateboarding' discipline. This includes expanding SLS to five separate two-day events in a year, up from the current three, and including a women's event at every stop.
"The alliance represents the dawning of a new era in sport, where the complementary skills and experience of an international federation and the leading commercial enterprise in the associated sport are united to foster the global growth of the sport", read a joint statement from the parties.
The establishment of an official world tour was a major focus of World Skate at its formation in 2017. This step solidifies Street League as the benchmark world tour of professional street skateboarding, while the Vans Park Series is widely expected to take on the role as an official world tour of park skateboarding.
While this statement refers to Street League becoming the 'major' pathway to Tokyo 2020, it does not rule out other avenues for qualification. It remains to be seen whether individual countries will have the power to form their own teams for entry, such as the case of Luis Tolentino, who has already claimed that he'll represent the Dominican Republic in skateboarding.
The new-look Street League format will begin operation in 2019, and is also set to double the number of competitors involved. International skateboarders who previously had little chance of qualifying for Street League could now have an easier pathway to the world stage, allowing maximum diversity in the series.
"Skateboarding is an enormously positive force in the lives of young people", SLS Chief Executive CJ Olivares said of the development.
"Our new alliance with World Skate offers us a rare opportunity to expand its influence and participation by sharing with the world what makes skateboarding unique and compelling.”
For more, check out the 6 Things We Already Know About Olympic Skateboarding