Skateboarding will make its debut in the 2020 Olympics. The sport is quickly establishing itself in organized competition, and Team USA will be representing on the world stage at the World Roller Games in Spain.
Members of the national downhill skate team are buckling up in anticipation of an opportunity to prove a point: they, along with their brand of skateboarding, belong in the Olympics, too.
“Downhill skateboarding is taking a skateboard and going really fast,” said Team USA member Rachel Bruskoff.
She pushes 55 miles an hour as she zips down a one way road in Malibu.
This road is a mecca for downhill skaters who make the pilgrimage from all over the world to shred its slopes, and with the wind in your ears combined with a view of the Pacific, you can’t blame these adrenaline junkies.
“Just like pure freedom and exhilaration, you got the wind blowing against your face and you feel like you’re flying,” Bruskoff said.
She is one of 12 members of the team that will be representing the U.S. in this summer’s World Roller Games in Spain.
The organized format of competition gives these riders a sense of legitimacy and purpose that not many people know about.
Just ask Bruskoff's teammate, Teresa Gillcrist.
“She hated how I came home everyday with road rash on my arms, but after she saw that I got chosen to go to the World Roller Games, all for it. She’s making me jackets, she’s making me breakfast in the mornings,” said Gillcrist of her mom’s reaction to skateboarding.
Parents are on board, and so is the International Olympic Committee--for the most part.
Two skateboarding events will be featured in next year’s Olympics, although downhill won’t be one of them.
And that’s what Bruskoff hopes to change with some campaigning at this year’s World Games.