SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The newest Olympic sport is coming to Salt Lake City this summer.
After taking a year off because of the pandemic, the Street League Skateboarding Tour will make one of its four stops in 2021 in Salt Lake City August 27th and 28th.
Paul Rodriguez is one of the most accomplished street skaters of all-time. He’s a 4-time X-game gold medalist, and he sees Salt Lake City as a natural fit as one of four stops on the Street League Skateboarding Tour this summer.
“Salt Lake definitely has a strong skate community,” said Rodriguez, who will be competing when the tour comes to Utah. “I’ve been through Salt Lake on countless amount of tours. Lots of great skateboarding spots there. Great environment, great atmosphere, great people, so it makes a lot of sense to do it in Salt Lake.”
This isn’t a big air sport like we’ve seen on the big ramps when the Dew Tour used to come to Utah. This is more about creativity and what skateboarders an do with obstacles you’d see anywhere on the streets.
“Like handrails, staircases, gaps and ledges,” Rodriguez said. “Everything you see us doing in there is stuff we’re simulating when we’re out street skating. Once of my favorite things about street skating is there is no limit to your creativity. If you can imagine something and you try hard enough, you can do it.”
One thing Rodriguez couldn’t imagine growing up is skateboarding becoming an Olympic sport. But street skating will make its Olympic debut next month in Tokyo.
“I’m really excited about that,” Rodriguez said. “It’s perfect timing with skateboarding being on the world stage like that being broadcast to so many new eyeballs. Hopefully we get a lot of people with a newfound interest in skateboarding.”
Some of those Olympians will be competing in Salt Lake with tricks never seen before.
“The progress is really truly unbelievable,” Rodriguez said. “Especially now with social media being so prevalent, now you have a new level of trick coming out almost every day. [Fans’] minds will be blown. The level of technical skateboarding that is going to be had is going to be world class.”
The SLS will also be making stops in Los Angeles, Miami and Jacksonville this year.