The Tokyo Games’ second-oldest skateboarder, at 46 years old, hopes to have fun and not have a heart attack. This should not be a problem. Dallas Oberholzer has made fun a part of his life.
“I have never held a job.” He says he has never applied for a job. “Skateboarding has been my whole life. “I am hooked.”
Skateboarding’s young stars have more tricks and a larger following on Instagram than the South African with a salt-and pepper beard. Oberholzer doesn’t expect to be beaten when they take to the Tokyo Olympic Skate Bowl’s massive track.
Oberholzer is a big storyteller, weaving his nomadic life on four squeaky Polyurethane wheels. Oberholzer, a skateboarder who is disruptive and doesn’t take himself too seriously, is like Iggy Pop. He is raw, wild, and can talk and talk.
Imagine him as a concert chauffeur transporting Janet Jackson’s dancers. Or his 16-month journey from Canada to Argentina after he graduated university with a marketing degree that he soon realized he didn’t need.
He describes himself as “just a collection of experience” Another description might be: He is a mascot for middle-aged people all over the world, representing Generation X against Generation Y and Z.
“I am not going to win. He says he is not going to win a medal. “But, like I said, I am legitimately Africa’s best guy. The Olympics are the default destination for the best man in Africa.
He adds, “It’s just unbelievably incredible.” It’s all-expense paid and it’s going be the best course that I have ever skated in my entire life.”
Only Rune Glifberg (a.k.a. “The Danish Destroyer”) is older than Oberholzer, who was 46. She was also among the 80 skateboarders competing in Tokyo’s Olympic debut.
Oberholzer and Glifberg will be competing in the men’s skate park competition on Thursday. They will be paired with skaters younger than their half.
Even younger skaters will be participating in Wednesday’s women’s event: Kokona Hiraki from Japan is only 12. In the women’s street event in Week 1, three young teens — 13, 13 and 16 — won gold, silver and bronze.
“I have nothing to lose and nothing to prove. Oberholzer states that although I know I’m 46, all I have to do is keep my cardio up and be able to stay on my skateboard for 45 second. “I’m going be the one smiling bro. I hope. Or, I’ll have a mild heart attack.”
The age range for skating is remarkable for an Olympic event. This demonstrates the sport’s inclusiveness. In July, skating pioneer Tony Hawk competed at the X Games at age 53, and was beaten by a 12-year-old, Gui Khury. It could have read, “Skaters don’t grow old, they just get better wheels.”
“Skateboarding definitely makes you feel younger,” says Glifberg. It’s more than a sport. It has a lot do with style, grace, and the way you present yourself on the boards.
While Gens Y & Z had “how to” videos on Instagram and YouTube to show them tricks, Oberholzer & Glifberg had no such resources.
Glifberg started right around the time that “Back to the Future” turned kids onto skating in 1985. Oberholzer said it was a VHS rental of “Thrashin,” a 1986 film about skateboarding gangs that “made all our eyes pop out.”
His sport was tennis until then.
He recalled, “I just remember thinking to myself, “I could play tennis and let it have all the fun or I can be the ball.” “I’m like, I want to play the ball. “I want to fly around.
Anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela was still in jail when Oberholzer started riding buses into central Johannesburg in search of places to skate. Oberholzer was educated separately from Black children in South Africa. It was on his board that he first met and mingled with Black skaters.
He says, “It really helped my get over my apartheid past.”
Oberholzer gives back in return. Oberholzer uses skateboarding to reach children in difficult neighborhoods to help them avoid drugs and gangs, and to teach them skills. The Indigo Youth Movement he founded has built multiple skate parks and ramps.
Linda, his mum, has been impressed by all of it, but nothing compares to qualifying for the Olympics.
“My mom is happy with my choices in life, bro. That is a great feeling. He says that it took so long for my mom acknowledge what I do in my life.” “That’s probably what I’m most grateful for, is that my mother finally says, ‘Wow!’