Alana Smith never dreamed they would be in the Olympics. Not because they didn't believe in themself, but rather because the sport they loved wasn’t considered for the world event.
Then, word that history would be made in the Tokyo Olympics. The sport the Fort Worth resident has loved since Smith a kid would be in the Olympics.
“It’s wild,” Smith said. “Especially being one of very few [athletes] for the United States. There are only six on the women’s team and six on the men’s team. It’s amazing. It’s a dream come true. Especially for someone who grew up watching the Olympics, but never thought that I would be in it.”
Smith, who grew up in Arizona, said the anticipation for this Games has been building since Smith found out they qualified. The pandemic slowed things down, as it did for every Olympian, but they said they are just thankful they are finally in Tokyo and ready to compete.
“If you would have told me like five or six years ago that skating was going to be in the Olympics, I would have thought you were crazy,” Smith said. “This is almost a full circle moment for me. I finally get to feel like I get to figure myself out. This is like my next chapter.”
Smith walked in the Parade of Nations with Team USA during the Opening Ceremony and said it was hard to describe how they felt during the experience.
“We literally went and as soon as we walked out we were kind of crying. This was crazy. I knew I just didn’t want to be all teary eyed, but it was hard to control it,” Smith said.
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Smith said skateboarding in the Olympics is about much more than the athletes who will be part of the inaugural event in Tokyo. It’s about being an inspiration.
“Being someone who grew up skating with the boys and skating with the girls and skating with everybody, I’ve never really felt like I fit either role. I just wanted to be known as a good skater and a good human all around. No matter gender, preference or anything, just as a good human. I just want to live life, be happy and live on a board,” Smith said.
The schedule for skateboarding could change due to inclement weather expected in Tokyo, check for updates here.