23/04/2024

Hayley Wilson will represent Australia in skateboarding's Olympic Games debut. (Photo: Victorian Institute of Sport - Twitter)

Skateboarder Hayley Wilson is heading to Tokyo, selected for the sport's debut Olympic Games in the street division.

Australian skateboarder Hayley Wilson will be heading to Tokyo to compete in the sport’s debut Olympic Games. The goofy-footed female world number 11 said it was a special feeling to be one of five athletes selected to represent Australia and is looking forward to showing the sport on a grand scale.

“I’m gonna be honest, it hasn’t kicked in yet,” Wilson told The Inner Sanctum.

“I think when it comes closer to the Games, I think it’ll really kick in but I’m super excited and honoured to be selected for the first-ever skateboarding team for the Olympics.”

Skateboarding makes its Olympic Games debut in Tokyo later this month and for Wilson, she’s confident its inclusion into the Games emphasises its placing in the world.

“It’s amazing, I think it’s gonna be so good for the sport and its recognition and how great it really is and it’s really exciting,” Wilson said.

“Especially being a female, back when I was younger there definitely wasn’t a lot of females skating. But now that it’s been introduced, there’s been a ton more come out of the woodworks and it’s been amazing to see.”

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Wilson will be competing in the Women’s Street division in Tokyo, which kicks off on July 26 at Ariake Urban Sports Park. The 19-year-old is the only Australian female among 20 riders in the Street discipline of the skateboarding event at the Olympic Games.

“It’s really exiting and I’m so honoured to be the only female representing for street,” Wilson said.

“The preparation has been a long, tough road for us all but it’s been one of the best experiences I could’ve gone through. It definitely has been some hard times but I’m excited [about] what I can bring to the stage and excited to make Australia proud.”

Wilson identified the postponement of the Olympic Games and the COVID-enforced restrictions in Melbourne required her to conjure up alternative training methods. Gathering ideas about how to continue her preparations, this included constructing her very own skatepark in her hometown.

“It definitely took a toll on everyone I guess but coming into mid-last year, so August, September, our family decided to build our own skatepark up in Mansfield,” Wilson said.

“We had to put our thinking caps on and build this facility. So I had my own training facility and that definitely helped so much in the lead-up to Tokyo.”

Hayley Wilson is heading to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. (Photo: Jason Irvine)

Wilson is no stranger to the world of main events, currently, the Australian Skateboarding League‘s national champion four years running (2016-2019), however, Wilson knows that the Olympics will be unlike anything she’s ever experienced before.

“It’s obviously a lot different cause the Olympics is on, it’s the whole world watching,” Wilson says.

“It is a lot different to previous training regimes, but I think cause of COVID, that’s why we got the facility cause I was so lost on where to train.”

Wilson believes her regained focus to ramp up her training and preparations in the midst of the last couple of years has guided her mentality that a medal was fast becoming a more attainable prospect in Tokyo, the dream of bringing a medal back home a reminder of her dedication and hard work of why she was selected in the first place.

“It gave me the best opportunity I can [have] and I’ve worked so hard for the past four years but definitely for the past eight months.

“I think last year, at the start of the year, I definitely thought I had a chance but coming into this year, I have even more of a chance on hopefully a podium [finish] at the Olympics.”

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