World’s top skaters to compete in Salt Lake as Vans Park Series world championships is headed for Utah

Skateboarding will be among new inclusions at Tokyo 2020 Olympics next summer

Workers construct a skate park on the beach just south of the Huntington Beach Pier in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Friday, July 21, 2017, for the upcoming Vans Park Series World Championship tour where the world's best men and women skateboarders will compete ahead of the VPS World Championships in Shanghai in September. A built-to-spec park will be built at the Utah State Fairpark for this September's event. (Mark Rightmire/The Orange County Register via AP)

The Olympic footprint in Utah is expanding a little further.

And again, it’s involving another brand-new Olympic event set to make its debut next summer in Tokyo, Japan.

On Wednesday, the Vans Park Series (VPS) and Utah Sports Commission announced the series is making its final stop of the 2019 calendar in Salt Lake City for the park terrain skateboarding World Championships. It will be the first time ever that the park skateboarding championships have been held on American soil. The men’s and women’s competitions are scheduled to take place on September 7 at the Utah State Fairpark.

Skateboarding is one of the many new sports to be included at the 2020 Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo next summer, featuring two classifications: park skating and street skating. Recently, Salt Lake became the next permanent home for USA Climbing, joining the list of several United States Olympic Committee NGO’s based around Utah. Climbing is another new sport set to debut in Tokyo.

Vans intends on constructing a built-to-spec park terrain skatepark at the Fairpark for the event. The hope is that it becomes another integral part of Utah’s developmental culture surrounding Olympic sports.

“Since our first discussions, it was clear that both the Utah Sports Commission and the Fairpark were aligned behind our mission to inspire youth and grow skateboarding participation worldwide,” said Bobby Gascon, global director of action sports of Vans, in a release.”We are thrilled to partner with both entities in producing the first park terrain World Championships on American soil but most importantly, leave behind a state-of -the-art park terrain skatepark for the community to enjoy."

The Vans Park Series spans five countries over a five-month season and features four global qualifiers for men and women skaters. The culmination of the season will be for the right to skate and be called a world champion in Salt Lake in September. Skateboarding’s elite will be vying for a total series purse in excess of $700,000.

“Vans Park Series is the definitive international competition series for park terrain skateboarding for men and women and we look forward to seeing these amazing athletes compete,” said Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission in a release. “As the preeminent park terrain skateboarding event in the world and we are excited to welcome these athletes to our state.”

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