Vancouver Island skateboarder headed to Olympics with Canada's first national skateboard team
VICTORIA -- A Vancouver Island skateboarder is among 12 athletes chosen to be on Canada's first national skateboard team when the sport makes its debut in the Summer Olympic Games.
Courtenay's Shay Sandiford is one of eight skateboarders who will be representing Canada in the country's street skateboarding division.
Sandiford, 23, is originally from Courtenay and currently lives in Los Angeles, Calif. His previous professional skateboarding work includes sponsorships from Adidas, Diamond Supply Co., Onethirtythree Skate Shop, Plan B Skateboards and more.
He joins five other British Columbia skateboarders on Canada's 12-person national team.
"On behalf of the selected skaters, it is an honor to make it onto Canada’s first ever National Skateboard Team," said Annie Guglia, national team athlete representative in a statement on Feb. 26.
"While none of us started skateboarding thinking we could become Olympians, this new opportunity has become our life goal," she said. "We hope to inspire the next generation of skateboarders and spread our love of skateboarding along the way."
Each skateboarder on the team earned their spot after completing Canada's Olympic Qualifying Tour in 2019 and 2020.
As of Wednesday, the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, are still set to take place in July 2021, after being postponed from 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The upcoming Olympic Games will be the first time that skateboarding will be featured as a sport, and will include a park division and street division.