A bit of the X Games is coming to the Tokyo Olympics, as skateboarding is one of the newest sports that will be part of this year’s summer games. Much like the snowboarders at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, those vying for Olympic gold in these events hope to be the first in a long line of skateboarders at the games.
If you’re wondering why a new sport is being introduced to the long-standing athletic tradition like the Olympics, it’s best to understand that this actually happens more than you may remember. Each host country has the ability to propose new sports to add to the Olympic lineup, as well as ones they may want to drop, which are then approved by the IOC. This is also why baseball and softball are back for the Tokyo Olympics, and why we will be getting breakdancing as a sport at the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Skateboarding isn’t the only new sport at the Tokyo Olympics. Surfing, sports climbing and karate are also making their Olympic debuts.
But let’s focus on the skateboarding competition. Medals will be handed out for men’s and women’s street skating and men’s and women’s park skating. Street skating will feature skaters doing tricks on a course that features stairs, rails and other obstacles, while park skating will be in a dome-shaped bowl, with scoring based on skater’s ability to maintain flow while performing tricks.
Some of the favorites in the skateboarding competition include Americans Nyjah Huston and Heimana Reynolds, Japan’s Yuto Horigome and Aori Nishimura, Brazil’s Pamela Rosa and Rayssa Leal, and Great Britain has the 13-year-old Sky Brown, Great Britain’s youngest ever summer Olympian.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Olympics skateboarding competition.
Tokyo Olympics skateboarding schedule
Men’s Street: Qualification Heats 1-4, 8 p.m. ET, USA
Men’s Street: Final Medal Runs, 11:25 p.m. ET, USA
Women’s Street: Qualification Heats 1-4, 8 p.m. ET, CNBC
Women’s Street: Final Medal Runs, 11:25 p.m. ET, CNBC
Women’s Park: Qualification Heats 1-4, 9 p.m. ET, CNBC
Women’s Park: Final Medal Runs, 11:30 p.m. ET, CNBC
Men’s Park: Qualification Heats 1-4, 8 p.m. ET, CNBC
Men’s Park: Final Medal Runs, 11 p.m. ET, CNBC (replayed on Aug. 5 at 5 a.m. ET on NBCSN)
How to watch Tokyo Olympics skateboarding in the U.S.
The entire skateboarding competition will be shown live on-air on either USA or CNBC, with a replay of the men’s park finals airing on NBCSN in the early hours of Aug. 5. For fans to be able to watch these events on their TVs, they will need either a traditional cable subscription or vMVPD subscription (i.e. Sling TV, Fubo TV, YouTube TV or Hulu with Live TV) package that includes the channels.
The Peacock streaming service will also have replays of the skateboarding events, as it is doing for all Olympic events, on its free tier. The free tier is supported by ads; an ad-free version of Peacock is available for $9.99.
Roku is also getting in on the Olympic spirit, announcing a partnership with NBCU that will allow Roku users to access some of NBC’s Olympics coverage immediately from the Roku home page.
How to watch Tokyo Olympics skateboarding in the U.K.
U.K. viewers looking to cheer on Sky Brown will be able to watch all of the Olympic action on either BBC or Eurosport. BBC is included in basic cable packages available in the country as well as through the Freeview TV service. Eurosport, meanwhile, is a premium cable channel that requires a subscription.
Streaming of the games will be available through the BBC iPlayer service, free to anyone with a U.K. TV license, as well as the Eurosport Player service, which is included as part of the Discovery Plus service (£4.99 per month) or available as a channel add-on on Amazon Prime (£6.99 per month).
How to watch Tokyo Olympics skateboarding in Canada
Canada’s official Olympics broadcaster is CBC, but some coverage will also be available on TSN and Sportsnet. All of the Olympics sports, including skateboarding, will be available to stream through CBC and its CBC Gems, dedicated Olympics website and CBC Olympics app.
For cord cutters in Canada, Sling TV is an option to watch CBC’s Olympic broadcast.
How to watch Tokyo Olympics skateboarding anywhere
A virtual private network is a handy tool when you want to be able to watch a specific broadcast but don’t have immediate access to it based on your location. Requiring only an internet connection, a VPN routes the network traffic to and from your computer through a specific set of servers in a specific country, allowing for users to watch content on an encrypted feed.
ExpressVPN is one of the easiest and affordable ways to watch what you want from anywhere you want to watch it. Plus it'll help keep your network traffic away from any prying eyes on public networks.
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Michael Balderston is a D.C.-based entertainment writer and content producer for What to Watch. He previously has written for TV Technology and Awards Circuit.
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