CHICO, Calif. - Skateboarding is one of four sports making its Olympic debut in Tokyo.
Some elite skateboarders have had mixed reactions to its inclusion because of the sport's unique culture. Local skaters at Humboldt skate park can't wait to watch.
Athletes will compete in two disciplines: park and street. Skaters in the park event perform tricks above large bowls. The street event has stairs, rails and benches which resemble an actual street.
Andrew Langi is a skateboard instructor in Chico. He says having skateboarding in the Olympics is a great way to motivate younger kids.
"The contests that us older guys grew up watching were X-Games, Dew tour stuff like that," Langi said. "Now the kids get to watch the Olympics, which is something they can aspire to become one day. An Olympian."
"It's really cool. I like it. I hope one day that I can [go to the Olympics] too," nine-year-old Katelyn Vedrine said.
Langi also works at a skate shop. He said he's seen an increase in young girls picking up skateboards.
"It's awesome to see that skateboarding is becoming such a diverse culture," he said.
"When I'm skateboarding, I have the wind blowing through my air," Vedrine said. "I feel really good about myself."
Olympic skateboarding events begin July 25.
Other first-time Olympic sports are karate, sports climbing and surfing.