How's it going, just read the "Nebraska we have a problem"
story on your site and wanted to let you know what the "vert dawgs"
that you were referring to really think about skateboarding in the
Olympics. We, just like you and Dave Carnie and everyone else in
skateboarding, are appalled at the thought of skateboarding in the
Olympics and we know how evil the IOC and USOC are and have heard
all of the horror stories from snowboarders and everyone else. That
being said ever since we heard that a roller skating organization
was designated as the governing body by the IOC we wanted to make
sure that someway, somehow the skaters would have a voice. We don't
(as UPSA) necessarily want to be an organizing body or a sanctioning
body we just want to have a voice. It's one of those things where
if it's going to happen it's going to happen and all you can hope
for is that the skaters and people that do know what's up could
help make something like that be a positive thing and maybe even
help grow skateboarding rather than butcher it like I'm sure these
fools in Nebraska would do. Thanks, I really enjoyed the article
as well as the rest of the site.
Good article. I hope skateboarders take the time to
read and understand it. In my opinion UPSA's involvement with rollersports
is a negative. If UPSA wanted to keep skateboarding under skateboarders
they would support World Cup Skateboarding and work with the Bostick's
to keep skateboarding away from Rollersports. Here is my reasoning.
Rollersports are the guys who have roller skating rinks. For the
last 40 years they have been trying to get their sport (dancing
roller skating) into the Olympics. That is why they have Olympic
connections. While they have been tending to the exciting business
of roller skating the skateboarders saw their sport grow into something
huge (80's), then loose all their insurance which resulted in all
their skateparks being shut down... well all except Kona Skatepark.
Kona was owned by the Ramos's and they self insured and relied on
waivers. So skateboarders started to skate in the streets. Cities
made laws to make it illegal and they still did it. They formed
their own magazines and companies to fund skateboarding and keep
it alive and growing. Skateboarders did it all and they did it without
the help of the government. In 1996 I could only find 3 public skateparks
and a few private parks. Insurance was still a big issue but there
was an estimated 6 million skateboarders in the USA, several magazines,
a trade show, thousands of retail skateshops and a governing body,
World Cup Skateboarding, that was holding events all over the world.
Roller skating was on a downturn
and gee... they did not have any industry to call their own. Roller
hockey and aggressive inline were taking off with no help from roller
skating. SPAUSA was just forming (96) to help the skaters and bmx'ers
in Venice & Santa Monica. By 1999 we were helping kids all over
the world with skateparks and finally got the courage to set up
an insurance program. It was a very scary thing to do and also a
not very exciting business. By 2000 we were able to take pads off
our coverage, another scary move but it actually ended up with our
injury rate being cut in half. Once again the skaters proved to
be experts in governing their own sport.
Mid 2000 the Wall Street Journal
did a profile of me and I talked about the possibility of the insurance
being a profitable arm of the organization. All of a sudden the
Roller-Skating Federation changed their name to Rollersports and
went after everything, "feet on wheels" is what they said and they
took over roller hockey, inline, scooters and skateboarding. Now
Rollersports says they can provide a governing body and insurance.
Rollersports could NOT govern or grow their own sport effectively
but UPSA thinks they would make a dandy partner for skateboarders....??????
How so???? Or maybe it is the lure of hundreds of millions of dollars
in federal funds that will become available. Did UPSA form just
for this purpose?
I got involved to help my son and
his friends. I stayed in because I like the people and the work.
SPAUSA supports World Cup Skateboarding as the governing body. Don
Bostik was a pro skateboarder and World Cup Skateboarding has kept
competitive skateboarding alive and growing for the last 10 years.
To us it is a no brainer. Whatever happens, the next few years will
be very interesting. Many thanks to Dave Carne and Clarkie for shedding
some light on the governing body situation. Cheers.
-Heidi Lemmon, SPAUSA
Hey Ey Clarkie - Greetings again from sunny South Africa:)
Just thought I'd give my 2 cents. 1st-much respect on the labour
alert thing. Pop culture today seems to be moving faster and faster
and more and more things seem to be getting ignored. 2nd-(the main
feature) you don't know how refreshing it is to hear your take on
the Olympics thing! Like I said, I am not a skater and have no aspirations
to pretend to be one and even though I recognize all athletes and
their sports and their need to be recognized, I wondered about the
validity of the Olympic claim. I mean, recognition is one thing
but it seems that to skate is a lifestyle and not some other pursuit.
Yes, people make money and they want to have endorsements and stuff
but as an outsider, it just seems that having it as an Olympic sport
will not necessarily enhance the lifestyle. After awhile, it might
just be one of those things. Anyway, lemme shurrup:) thanks for
the good work. As always, will be thinkin of all you northern hemispherics
freezing your butts off as we enjoy braais (that's barbecues to
you) and sunny African skies:) hehe later.
An attempt to clarify what I feel has been mis-represented...
UPSA, as Neal Hendrix writes, is not committed to the Olympics nor
becoming an "organizing body" representing skateboarding to the
IOC or the USOC. My emails, phone conversations, and personal face
to face conversations, have clearly stated UPSA's interest, and
my own personal interest, is that "skateboarding" and "skateboarders"
be part of any and all decisions determining when and how and if
skateboarding should could or would be part of the Olympics. My
recommendation since 2001 has been consistent--"we" cannot sit back
and wait for others to decide. We have to include ourselves in the
process. Otherwise, from Beijing, in 2008, there will be padded,
spandex-outfitted "skateboarders" standing on the podium with a
bouquet of flowers, throwing kisses to the crowd, and then bending
to stretch out their neck for their Olympic medals. I believe the
November 2003 UPSA meeting in Pomona helped provide some awareness
to the complexities surrounding the Olympic issue, but, again, UPSA
is not dedicated to becoming a governing bodymy letters to
the IOC have only indicated to them our interest in being included
in any and all conversations and decisions regarding skateboarding
becoming a venue for the Olympic games. -Jim Fitzpatrick, UPSA
[Editor's Note: I couldn't attend the meeting in Pamona,
and I would love to have someone write minutes. But for the meantime,
I heard from Don Bistick, Dave Carnie, and Jim Gray all who attended
the meeting and what I gather in summary is that not one skateboarding
entity shall pursue a "governing body" course on their
own especially when it comes to the Olympic game and that World
Cup Skating, SPAUSA, IASC, and UPSA will form a body so that all
interests of the skateboarding community and skateboarders are accurately
represented. Keeping in mind, of course, that USA Roller Sports
IS the governing body of skateboarding where the Olympics are concerned
and this new body (which Dave Carnie wants to call FIST) may not
have any control at this point. Can we hear from the FIST people
Clarkie: My apologies that there had been no response
until now to the email you sent USA Roller Sports in late October.
I am sure it has sufficiently been established that USA Roller Sports
is not the national governing body of skateboarding in the United
States. It must first be a recognized discipline within the Olympic
Movement to fall under a federation. I am unsure how this particular
inaccuracy reached the public. It could have been a miscommunication
on our end or elsewhere. USA Roller Sports' involvement in skateboarding
is on the grass roots level, as a response to the membership's request.
We do have skateboarding members and chartered venues, and to them,
we have an obligation to progress roller sports, being defined as
any sport performed on wheels, as skateboarding is performed. USARS
is a sanctioning body that provides insurance to both the venue
and the skater. We provide coverage up to $1 Million in liability
insurance for a sanctioned event or chartered venue. And as a USARS
individual member you are provided with $25,000 individual medical
coverage per accident. From that point USARS is responsible for
growing the sport by providing current information, building the
grass roots in the skateparks and rinks, building classes, forming
clubs, and providing continuing education to the membership. Through
all of this, we are creating a national and international network
of skaters and experts in the field as we have more than 75 sister
national federations around the world as part of FIRS. Ultimately
our goal, as a part of the Olympic Family, is to grow competition
from the local, to regional, to national, to international level.
As you can see, the future inclusion of skateboarding in the Olympic
Games is only one facet of USA Roller Sports. Skateboarding is in
the very, very early stages of development for USARS. We always
welcome the input of skaters, most definitely in skateboarding,
so please share your thoughts, concerns and suggestions. And as
we are a non-profit sporting organization, volunteerism is priceless.
USARS would not be able to conduct competition or be an effective
sanctioning body if not for our membership and our volunteers. They
ARE USA Roller Sports. I hope this has been of some help to you.
Please feel free to contact me at any time at 402.483.7551 or at
this email address. I understand your concerns and hope that I have
sufficiently addressed those issues.
Dinah Robbins Director of Publications and Design USA Roller Sports
4730 South Street
Lincoln, NE 68506 T: 402.483.7551 F: 402.483.1465