Shane O'Neill, switch kickflip. Photo: Jason Morey.
You may have read that Shane O'Neill has been granted $20,000 from the Australian Olympic Committee in medal incentive funding. $20k is possibly just a small drop in the ocean for the Street League champ, but that's not the point. The point is, the AOC is already backing skateboarding, and the following SBS article (which covers $1 million in funding to Australia's elite athletes) reads with a headline that focuses solely on skateboarding over any other sports:
Skateboarder gets AOC medal funding.
A skateboarder and surfer are among athletes to get medal incentive funding from the Australian Olympic Committee.
"Skateboarder Shane O'Neill has been gifted $20,000 in medal incentive funding from the Australian Olympic Committee.
"Seventy-one athletes, including medal winners from the Rio Games, will share $1 million in funding.
"Skateboarding will make its Olympic debut at the 2020 Tokyo Games.
"New women's surfing world champion Tyler Wright gets $20,000 under the scheme.
"Swimmers ($320,000) took the bulk of the incentive funding, while Australia's Olympic champion women's rugby seven's team received $240,000.
"Athletes, including sailors, rowers and archers, are eligible for next year's medal incentive funding of $1,080,000, paid by the AOC from January."
Skateboarding is just what the Olympics needs to create fresh, exciting headlines. Whether skateboarders like it or not, the Olympics will create massive awareness towards skateboarding. It seems we are embarking on a new era, people. Buckle up and let’s see what unfolds.
Casual ollie to fakie at Shane's backyard skatepark in LA. Photo: Herman Jimenez.