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Let’s roll! International skateboarding festival kicks off in Moscow

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The Grand Skate Tour 2023 skateboarding and roller sports festival kicked off in Moscow’s Gorky Park on Wednesday.

Footage shows competitors showing off their skills on a range of ramps, performing a number of flips, spins and other acrobatics.

« I’m kind of enjoying the fact that we kind are here and may be breaking the norm, » said Dallas Oberholzer, a participant from South Africa who said he was preparing for the next Olympics.

« Skateboarders are used to not really listening to the rules and doing different things, » he added. « And really forget the politics. »

Around 5,000 athletes from more than 40 countries are set to take part, including Argentina, Armenia, Brazil, USA, Egypt, Israel, India, the UAE, Ethiopia and South Africa.

« I’m really excited to be here, at Grand skate tour, » said Will Сortez, a skateboarder from Texas. « Russia is one of my favourite places to come to visit. This is my second time here at the Grand skate tour and both years [it] was amazing and I’ve worked with the national team here to coach them and I loved it. »

The Grand Skate Tour finals for men and women will be held in Moscow on September 2.

In 2016, the International Olympic Committee added skateboarding to the Olympic programme, and in 2021, Japan hosted the first Olympic skateboarding competition.

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