Four years ago, the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) brought the thrills and excitement of skateboarding to Nanjing through its innovative SportsLab concept – and the sport continues to thrive in the Chinese city.
The recent announcement that Nanjing will host the first Park World Championships later this year – ahead of skateboarding’s inclusion at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 – highlights the legacy of the sport in the Chinese city since it hosted the YOG in 2014.
Nanjing has already hosted the first edition of the World Roller Games in 2017, including the first official Vert World Championships, which were held at the SportsLab venue that was built for the YOG.
Gary Ream, the Chairman of World Skate’s skateboarding commission, explained: “Our mission has always been to help skateboarding continue positive growth globally with the support of Olympic inclusion and we’re excited to see a city like Nanjing step up to make this a reality with the 2018 Skateboarding Park World Championships.”
This year’s Park World Championships will be contested on the first Olympic-level certified park terrain course, which is being specially constructed close to Nanjing’s SportsLab venue. The SportsLab gave fans at the YOG Nanjing 2014 the chance to enjoy world-class displays of roller sports, skateboarding, sports climbing and wushu at the purpose-built facility.
Throughout the Games, large crowds flocked to the venue to watch the daily two-hour showcases that were held for each sport, with top Chinese and international athletes displaying their skills before offering fans the chance to try out the sports for themselves. The unique experience attracted approximately 3,000 people each day during the Games, with an average of 1,500 children trying out the four sports for themselves during the daily sessions.
Thanks to the legacy provided by the SportsLab venue, even more people have been able to enjoy the skateboarding facilities in the years since the YOG – and now the 2018 Park World Championships will bring even more excitement to Nanjing.