The First Japanese Skater who won the competition
The first who won the competition was “Nakamura Chisaki” in 2016 at the X Games in Austin. She also got first place at the Vans Park series, Yozumi Sakura following in second place. And Aori Nishimura got first place at X Games in Minneapolis in 2016. She was only 15 at the time. In 2019, she won “STREET LEAGUE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP” for the first time as a Japanese.
The first podium for Horigome Yuto was “STREET LEAGUE” in 2017. After his appearance in that, he kept winning at the competitions and now everyone admits he’s one of the best skaters of all time.
He also won “X Games”, “SLS”, “Skateboard International open” last year as well. Now we all can agree that Horigome and Nishimura are leading skateboarding scenes.
There Are So many Japanese Skaters Following Horigome and Nishimura
We also might look at the skaters who are following Horigome and Nishimura. In the Men’s street, Sora Shirai, In the Women’s street, Yumeka Oda”, they are doing great in the world competitions. Also, in the women’s park, Mitsugu Okamoto is the best skater ever. She kept winning the competitions 6 times in a row until the Olympic games. Everyone thought she’s the closest person to the gold medal, but she was a lot nervous at the time and couldn’t get there. But we could see she is a great skater in this generation.
As you know, Japanese skaters are now top-class in these 3 years. And new great skaters are following numberless. And the question is ” Why did Japanese skaters get so great suddenly?” Let me explain.
Skateboarding is now “family sports”
Skateboard wasn’t a popular “sport” in the 2000s in Japan. But now everyone knows what skateboarding is and a lot of people have tried it at some point. In the 2010s, a lot of parents tried to teach their kids how to skateboard, and now they grew up like Yuto Horigome and Aori Nishimura.
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AJSA supports talented skaters to get experience
The behind of the great success of Japanese skaters, there is the existence of the AJSA program. Before this project began, Japanese skaters had no support from any organizations. If they wanted to succeed in skateboarding, they had to put themselves out there by themselves which is quite hard. So AJSA started the program to support the skaters who want to skate in other country’s competitions. That’s why Sejiri could participate in SLS for the first time as Japanese.
What Japanese need to become the best in skateboarding
In Japan, skating in the streets is illegal. A lot of people still hate skateboarding and they try to stop it. To make Japan a great skate country, we might need to change the conception of the skateboard. If that happens, Japanese skaters can take pro-part videos. This means the acknowledgment of Japanese skaters will increase. That’s what Japanese need.