skateboard competition in Waterloo on Saturday to focus on culture rather than ‘sport’ | Local News
WATERLOO – Marcus Steinhauer grew up skating when it was a counter-culture.
Driven underground by the “banning skateboarding” laws in most cities, skateboarding was populated by children who viewed their favorite hobby as more “art” than “sport.”
This week, the two Steinhauer daughters eagerly watched 13-year-old British skateboarding phenomenon Sky Brown take bronze at the Olympics, the first time skateboarding has been given this platform.
Steinhauer is still not sure what to think of this progression. The nationalism that the Olympics bring out, the medal race – it goes against the camaraderie he’s absorbed by being a part of skateboarding for years.
“You can ride the wave of his excitement and still hate him, I guess,” the CedarLoo Skateboarding Association vice president said. “The whole conversation is not good. But people are talking about skating.
CedarLoo President Brian Helmrichs understands this perspective. But they both note how the rise of skateboarding as a legitimate sport has fueled its popularity, especially with women and girls.
This legitimacy helped them finally build a new flood proof skatepark in Waterloo last fall.
Tape cutting set for the new Waterloo skate park
“I think the renegade, outside of skateboarding culture, is strong enough to survive,” Helmrichs said. “If the Olympics got them involved, so much the better. It’s more people. It’s more parks.