The Vans Park Series is returning to Hastings Park this weekend! The all-ages event happens July 13th and 14th and will be interesting for even the most casual fans of skateboarding (and also superfans).
The event is actually a contest; it’s one of a few stops in which skateboarders will be competing to qualify for the world championships taking place in China later this year.
It’s also a sort of quasi-tryout for the US and Canadian Olympic skateboarding teams.
Jeff Thorburn, editor of Canada’s King Skateboard Mag, tells us that “The Vans Park Series are creating the framework for qualifying for the Olympics”.
Both countries are preparing to put together their teams of skateboarders in two categories (Park and Street) for the sport’s first ever appearance in the Olympics, in summer of 2020.
If they do well in this series, they could be chosen to be on the Team USA and Team Canada teams for Park skating in the Olympics.
And who loves the Olympics? Shaun White love the Olympics. He’ll be skating this weekend in hopes of dazzling not only the judges but the organizers of the Olympic team for the USA.
White alluded to his goal of skating in the Olympics back in the winter, as noted in THIS piece from Time Magazine during the 2018 Winter Olympics, about how he called a sexual harassment suit that he had settled out of court “gossip”.
White’s past transgressions aside, the weekend will be a spectacle for fans to watch pro-level athletes compete.
Thorburn describes the Vans Park Series to be a “an exciting weekend around skateboarding in Vancouver”, like when the Slam City Jam contest took over our city every summer from 1994 until 2005.
He also notes that the event acts like a tentpole for other events happening all weekend around it; “art shows, skateboarding clinics, video premiers and more”, the schedule for those can be found HERE.
At the park, last year’s champion, Pedro Barros (from Brazil) will be defending his title against Alex Sorgente (from Florida), and more.