Tokyo 2021 Olympics: Sports and Urban Culture
After a year’s delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tokyo Olympics began in the last week of July. In this edition, three new sports make their debut in the biggest competition in the world: 3×3 basketball, surfing and skateboarding. Bringing medals to countries such as Japan, the United States, Brazil, Australia, Russia, Serbia, China, and Latvia, and involving a large number of athletes and nations, these sports take urban culture in their movements and history and are a set of relationships. The city is an important part.
If on the one hand surfing originated in the region of Hawaii and Polynesia, where the sport was practiced by men and women of different social classes, on the other hand, during the 20th century, after colonialism and its spread around the world Happened. The prohibition period was at the heart of the popular and Baby Boomer culture of the 1960s.
This surfing culture was infused with aesthetic elements that communicated with this identity, as can be seen in the projects selected in this article. In addition, surfing also influenced the emergence of another new sport in the Olympic environment, skateboarding. starting with an adaptation of crate scooterSkateboards, a type of wooden scooter with boxes, took advantage of the popularization of surfing in the United States during the 1960s to give the sport a potential as “urban surfing”. practiced.
The game was evolving and separating into two main lines: green colour, which is used to practice skateboarding half pipe with aerial maneuvers that have their origins in practices inside empty swimming pools throughout California; this is Street, Exercises that combine maneuvers performed with stairs, handrails, stairs and other obstacles in an urban environment. With the passage of time and the popularization of the sport, while vert became a monetized sport in official sports, the practice of skate street found challenges in urban life, often regarded as synonymous with vandalism.
An example of this is the experience of the city of So Paulo, where skateboarding was banned by the city in 1988 due to conflicts between skaters and the So Paulo elite, and only in 1990 as a practice continuing with the change of municipal management. was restarted. . As in other places around the world, skateboarding has been marginalized, becoming an urban resistance movement in controversy over the use of spaces, in which we have a conservative elite on the one hand and those that are more accessible and democratic on the other. fight for cities. Since then, skateparks have become an important urban infrastructure, although the practice of the sport is not limited to them.
In this context of the game’s marginalization and competition for the city, 3×3 basketball appears as an important urban endurance sport. Known as the most prevalent urban sport in the world, 3×3 basketball is derived from traditional basketball played on courts, but with adaptations played on outdoor courts, much more common in peripheral areas of the United States.
The experiences of these games are not only for the benefits of sport practice for health, but also as places that allow for encounters, exchanges and development of cultures and essential dialogues within society.