Milwaukee skater with hopes of going pro excited to watch fellow competitors in the Olympics

Posted at 1:35 PM, Apr 18, 2024

MILWAUKEE — With skateboarding back at the Olympics for the second time, the sport is once again on the world's biggest stage. Skateboarding was already huge with major tournaments across the globe, but Milwaukee skaters tell me there’s just something special about seeing it in the Olympics.

"There's like no rules again. And it’s just like it’s fun. Nobody tells you what to do," 11-year-old Jack Vandenwymelenberg said.

He has been skating since he was 7 spending most of his time at 4 Seasons Skate Park in Milwaukee. Ever since he picked up a board, he has had big dreams.

“I wanna go pro when I’m older. I want to enter like bigger contests.”

Jack Vandenwymelenberg
Jack Vandenwymelenberg hopes to become a professional skateboarder when he is older.

Maybe even quality as a member of Team USA for Olympic skateboarding one day.

“Doing all this for your country like you're representing like everybody in your country and stuff with your sport," Vandenwymelenberg said.

Now that skating is on such a big stage again, it legitimizes a sport that in the past was looked down upon. Skaters like Cole Wayka see it as a way to spread the sport.

“It shows little kids all around the world something else to do, and maybe they like the skater they see, and gives them motivation," Cole Wayka, 26, said.

Wayka was once like Vandenwymelenberg, he had dreams of turning pro. The only thing that's changed is how close that dream is to becoming reality.

“I’ve won a couple Red Bull contests, and a couple of Zumiez best foot forward contests as well," Wayka said.

He’ll be watching the Paris Olympics through a different lens than the rest of us. He knows the skaters on those national teams.

“And I’ve competed against all of them. Everyone’s amazing at it so I respect it," Wayka said.

While there may be a sentiment of 'why wasn't skateboarding included earlier?' overall, skaters are just excited to see their favorite activity in one of the most prestigious global events.