The first Olympic gold medal awarded in skateboarding was a big deal.  Japan’s Yuto Horigome, who was participating in the debut event, could win a medal for his country for the first time in its Olympic history. The German winner, who was participating in the first Olympic skateboarding event, could win a medal for his country for the first time in his Olympic history.

At the Rio Olympics, the Japanese skateboarder Yuto Horigome won the first ever gold medal in the history of the sport, and he did it in style. Horigome took to the skateboarding halfpipe, still in its infancy, with an innovative approach to the sport that has been widely compared to Tony Hawk’s decades of dominance. His performance was not flawless, but it was also far from unexpected; after all, this is the same guy who won the gold medal in the X Games in 2014, which gives you an idea of how good he is.

Yuto Horigome, a 23-year-old skater from Japan, won the first-ever skateboarding gold medal for his country at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games in South Korea. “I am so happy that I won the gold medal,” said Horigome, who is the first skateboarder from his country to win an Olympic gold in the sport.

TOKYO, Japan — If the first-ever Olympic skateboarding champion had rode his board out of the Tokyo Games site where he made history on Sunday, he would have immediately encountered strong proof that his sport still had a long way to go in terms of capturing hearts and minds.

A sign says “No Skateboarding” only a short distance from the Ariake Urban Sports Park, close to a school.

You’ll have a hard time convincing Yuto Horigome to go on. The Tokyo native now has a compelling case for why he should be left alone: a gleaming gold Olympic medal won in the city where he learned to skate as a child and developed his derring-do talents on its thronging streets, where skateboarders aren’t often welcome.

Skateboarding is still considered a minor sport, according to Horigome. “I want to demonstrate how enjoyable skateboarding can be.”

The mission has been completed.

In the same place where he started to skate as a child, Yuto Horigome won gold in men’s skateboarding street. USA TODAY Network’s Geoff Burke

Skating’s Olympic debut provided precisely what the organizers had hoped for: a high-octane spectacle with plenty of thrills and spills from competitors who are geared toward younger viewers.

Jagger Eaton of the United States, who won bronze, rejoiced by taking his phone out of his pocket and streaming live on Instagram.

Kelvin Hoefler, who used to sleep with his skateboard when he first fell in love with skateboarding as a child, was so ecstatic with his Olympic gold that he imagined youngsters in his home Brazil ditching their soccer balls in favor of four wheels.

“It’s going to change their minds,” he said.

Perhaps even for the Olympics.

With laid-back camaraderie and a focus on fun among athletes schooled in the “life is a blast” attitude of their counter-culture pastime founded in carefree California, the legendary sports spectacular had never seen an event quite like this. Putting competition aside, skaters cheered and applauded when others pulled off difficult feats, hoping that other, more conservative sports would take note.

“The objective is to advance each sport to its full potential, and we can accomplish that without shaming or cheating,” said Puerto Rican skater Manny Santiago. “That is something that the other sports need. The bulk of the nations, the skate guys, came down for supper last night in the cafeteria as if to say, ‘Let’s all sit down before the event begins.’ You don’t see that in swimming.”

Several skaters participated while wearing headphones, which is unheard of in other sports. On his first run, Eaton listened to rapper Dusty Locane’s “Rollin n Controllin.”

He stated, “It put me right in the groove.”

Nyjah Huston of the United States, however, was never able to establish his stride. In the eight-man final, he fell many times while attempting to land routines and finished seventh.

In the skatepark of rails, steps, ledges, and other urban furniture that gives the street event its name, the Californian was among many who battled with furnace-like temperatures. On Monday, the women’s street competition will take place.

The hot sun weakened the rubber joints on the wheel axles of the skateboards, making them more difficult to handle.

“Your feet started to burn,” Huston said. “Your board heats up to the point where it flexes more. That’s why I got caught up in one of those gimmicks.”

Nonetheless, Huston hailed skating’s Olympic debut as a victory for all skaters.

“Hopefully, yeah, following this, people in places like Tokyo will be more tolerant of skateboarding,” Huston added. “We are not out there attempting to vandalize or trespass, as many people believe. To be honest, we’re simply out there doing our jobs and having a great time.”

While Huston wilted in the heat, Horigome remained icy cold, pulling off the most difficult feats. His father skated, and Horigome began skating at the age of seven at a park 30 minutes from the eventual Olympic site.

After defeating Huston in the global championships in Rome in June, the 22-year-old was considered a gold favorite.

Horigome’s highest-scoring act was a nollie 270 noseslide, in which he flipped the board out from under him on takeoff and slid it down a jagged rail on its nose.

This received a perfect score of 9.5. In all of his feats that counted, Horigome was the only skater in the final to score nines.

Ayane Nakamura, 8, yelled when Horigome clinched gold with a last performance in front of her television in a home overlooking the arena.

Ayane, a skateboarder who aspires to be an Olympian, said she is sometimes chastised for zooming about on her board, which has a Peanuts theme. She practiced ollies, a fundamental technique, while waiting outside the site on Sunday morning, wearing a Japan jersey, hoping to get a peek of the skaters on their way in.

“Some people chastise me,” she said. “As a result, I’ll have to conceal.”

On Sunday, Japan’s Yuto Horigome ended his country’s 32-year Olympic medal drought on the sport of skateboarding by winning the first-ever Olympic medal for his country.. Read more about yuto horigome and let us know what you think.

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  • nyjah huston
  • top japanese skateboarders
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