Skateboarding has taken Andy Anderson around the world, but for the past few days, he had the opportunity to compete much closer to home.
“I feel blessed. I leave for Copenhagen tomorrow, and then Paris and Rome for the street qualifiers for the Olympics and this is the best preparation I could have asked for, getting a local blessing … I just have to take a breath and appreciate this because this doesn’t happen and I hopefully it will happen more,” Anderson said as the event wrapped up Sunday at Langley Events Centre (LEC).
“It is just unbelievable. The meaning that this kind of event carries, it is just so much more then what you can see on the surface, and I think everyone here feels it.”
Anderson – a 26-year-old from White Rock – was among the competitors at the 7 Generations Cup, which was held June 10 to 12 at LEC.
Anderson finished first in the freestyle and second in the men’s all-terrain competitions. He also received the John Edward Ptucha Memorial Award, presented to the top overall skateboarder.
At the height of the sport, the award has previously been presented to the top overall skater of the Canadian amateur skateboard championships.
“That award is something else. The overall skateboarder hasn’t really seen recognized or awarded or sought after for a long time and that is always what I aimed at but there really wasn’t an award for that until recently,” he said.
The Indigenous-hosted pro skateboarding event was organized by the Generations Skateboard Society and drew competitors from across North America, as well as from Europe, Australia, and Japan, who were competing for a total prize pool of $30,000 US.
Taking inspiration for its name from the Kwantlen First Nations’ seven laws of life – health, happiness, humbleness, generations, generosity, forgiveness and understanding – the 7 Generations Cup featured a variety of events across its three-day span, including an all-terrain contest, a freestyle cup, trick battles, and the historic mini-ramp challenge.
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“We have a deep history of skateboarding around the Lower Mainland and bringing a major event back allows us to gather and celebrate skateboarding together,” said Jay Balmer, the board chair for the Generations Skateboard Society.
“I don’t think there has ever been an event this size since Slam City Jam, and I didn’t even go to that because I was so young,” Anderson said, referencing the signature event that was last held in Vancouver in the mid-2000s.
“(Having this event back) means a lot for the community; it is unbelievable what it does for skateboarding. How many of the people who are skating here who were inspired by those earlier contests and just of the drought for support for skateboarding in this area was … it is so nice the drought is over.”
Having skateboarding in the Olympics – it was added in 2020 – has helped bring the sport legitimacy.
“I don’t think people ever thought of skateboarding other than an illegal activity until it was in the Olympics, and now people who were criminals are considered professional athletes,” Anderson said.
“It is really nice to feel appreciated by the general population.”
RELATED: Skateboarders flying from around the globe to Langley
• All Terrain Competition (first place to third place)
Men’s: Jake Wooten, Andy Anderson, Caden Smith
Women’s: Fay Ebert, Samantha Secours. Alexandra Kolebniak
Andy Anderson, Nick Beaulieu, Guenter Mokulys
Men’s: Jake Wooten. Adam Hopkins, James Clarke
Women’s: Fay Ebert
Legends: Rob Sluggo Boyce, Alex Chalmers, Britain Bigginbotham
Pylon Death Races Results
Caleb Nichols, Dylans Righand
Krooked Hippy Jump Results
Jake Wooten, Riley Clerihue Allen
For full event results, people can click here.
Langley Events Centreskateboarding