For decades, these sports were largely represented in the U.S. by white and male superstars — including skater Tony Hawk, surfer Kelly Slater and climber Alex Honnold — but the games have the potential to change that narrative going forward for millions of minority and female fans around the world.
Lou Harris, a longtime surfer from Queens, New York who runs the local chapter of the Black Surfing Association, a surfing school that caters to young minorities, told ABC News that the display of talent from diverse athletes around the world is sure to inspire a new generation.
“They’re going to see everyone cheering them on,” Harris told ABC News. “They’re going to see Black surfers and Asian surfers and women surfers and think, ‘Hey you know, maybe I can do that.'”
The U.S. will be among the 17 nations competing in surfing, 19 nations competing in climbing events and 26 nations competing in skateboarding events for both men’s and women’s divisions. The U.S. surfing and climbing teams are each made up of two men and two women while the U.S. skateboarding team, which is separated into park and street divisions, are made up six men and women.