In a final that was full of thrills and spills, the 22-year-old Japanese was the only skater in the final to score nothing but nines in all his tricks that counted.
HORIGOME Yuto won the men’s street skateboarding event in his hometown but in front of an empty stadium at the Ariake Urban Sports Park.
He was introduced to skateboarding by his father when he was a toddler and grew up in the Tokyo ward where the event was being held. “I couldn’t miss the fourth trick so I put everything I believed and worked for into that trick,” he said, after describing how much pressure he felt after two disappointing runs.
He took the title in some style with a score of 37.18 after a grueling seven rounds. Brazil’s Kelvin Hoefler, who was more than one point behind, took silver, while Jagger Eaton of USA clinched the bronze to complete the first Olympic podium in history.
Four-time world champion and pre-event favorite Nyjah Huston of the USA fell repeatedly while trying to land tricks and finished the final in 7th. “Your feet started burning up,” said the Californian, “Your board like gets so hot that it kind of flexes more. That’s kind of why I fell on one of those tricks out there.”
“I’m a little bummed at myself, obviously. I would have liked to have landed a couple more tricks out there. But it’s still an honor to be out here skating at the Olympics.”
The silver medalist, Hoeffler, said “It feels amazing. I can’t describe this moment. This medal means a lot for all the skaters in Brazil,”
“I feel blessed. I’m really happy to be part of this whole thing with all the guys here. It is a big moment for skateboarding.”
“Skateboarding deserved to be here, that’s why we are here.”
And they were not the only winners. Skateboarding fashion stole the show.