LYNCHBURG, Va. – Four sports are making their Olympic debut in Tokyo: skateboarding, sport climbing, karate and surfing.
Business owners in Lynchburg are hopeful that the games bring attention to those sports.
Scene 3 boardshop expects the debut of skateboarding creates more interest.
“I think most people are excited to see [skateboarding] there and excited about the growth that it’s seeing,” said Nate Hall, who works at the shop.
Hall says skateboarding tends to see waves of popularity; and Scene 3 is already seeing a boost in business from the COVID-19 pandemic, as people spent more time outdoors.
“I think it’s a really exciting time for skateboarding. I think it’s a really positive step forward,” said Hall.
And he believes Olympic kickflips will kickstart new business.
“I think we’ll definitely see an increase, down the road, after the Tokyo Games.”
Sport climbing will make its Olympic debut next week.
J.B. Askew, manager at Rise Up Climbing in Downtown Lynchburg, expects new customers even if it’s just a one-time climb.
“Maybe they’ve gone to a little wall at the fair, or something like that; but not realizing that people actually do this for fun on a very regular basis and is a real sport that’s taken seriously worldwide,” said Askew.
The difficulty is based on which color-coated route you take.
Askew says aside from revenue, he hopes the worldwide stage brings more attention to the sport.
“I hope that it brings in a lot of customers and it gets our current customers even more excited for climbing,” said Askew.
Rise Up Climbing plans to stream the Olympics when the sport makes its debut.