Skateboarding grows in popularity, inspires local teens

NOW: Skateboarding grows in popularity, inspires local teens

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Skateboarding is one of two new sports recently added to the Olympic games. If you were able to catch Monday’s women’s competition, it was clear age was no setback. With a 13-year-old and 16-year-old representing Japan and winning gold and bronze, respectively, and another 13-year-old of Brazil taking home the silver medal. The sport continues to make leaps and bounds into new territory!

Now, kids worldwide are aspiring to go for the gold including Carson Lee Frushour, Carson can be found on most days at one place… the O’Brien Skate Park in South Bend. The teen first hit the pavement when he was just 7 years old.

“I was playing with tech decks, little finger boards things, and then I looked up actually people skating, and I saw Nunjay Houston and Yuto Horigome,” says Carson. “Then, I was like I kind of want a board for my birthday, and I got one and just started skateboarding.”

Carson is not the only one taking note of famous skaters. The International Olympic Committee introduced skateboarding to this year’s games as Tokyo Organizers aim to attract a ‘younger audience.’ For a sport once branded as ‘rebellious,’ this ‘sportification’ opens up a window of opportunities for kids, like Carson.

“People used to hate the sport, they didn’t want you to do it, it destroys things, it vandalizes things, a lot of people like it now,” says Carson. “It is growing in popularity and more people will start doing it which is even better.”

But gold medals aside, skateboarding will always mean something bigger.

“My favorite part about skateboarding is the community,” says Carson. “You have a lot of friends, people will accept you, and you can come to the skate park people accept you no matter what you do, what you look like, what you act like. Once I met my friends here, they became my lifelong friends”

Even so, being a winner would not be all that bad….

“Do you want to go to the Olympics”

“For sure, if I can make it yeah,” says Carson. “I mean I am definitely not qualified at this point yet, but if I keep on practicing, maybe”

The men and women’s park skateboarding competitions are up next at the Olympic games and will take place starting on August 3rd.  Skateboarding is expected to be a part of the 2024 Paris Olympics.  

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