ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Skateboarding is now in the Olympics, And with two teenagers taking top prizes, local skateboarding advocates say this is a culmination of a long fight to make sure that skateboarding — a well as BMX and scooters — is something for everyone.
The ROC City Skatepark was a pipe dream for years:
Over a decade of work to get it built under the old 490 overpass. Friends of the ROC City Skatepark was the driving force of project. One of the leaders is Alan Presutti, and he hopes that the skatepark can do for others what skateboarding did for him.
“I love the community, it helped me find friends when… In the 80s and 90s skateboarders we were kind of outcasts, and we didn’t have a place to go, and therefore we were forced to become rebels I guess as society would say,” Presutti said.
He says that this park represents a place for everyone: young, old, black, white… For everyone in the City.
“It’s access for all community members from different social, economic, and racial, and athletic pursuits, people who live downtown and who deserve a place to go like other area,” Presutti added.
As for seeing the skateboarding in the Olympics:
“It’s nice to see the world embrace skateboarding, and to see that it can be a positive outlet for the youth,” he said.
Aaron Costa of Krudco. Skateshop set up shop in Rochester nearly thirty years ago. Since then, he has seen skateboarding culture change, from an underground band of outcasts to something that can even be enjoyed by families.
“It’s just something that kids have,” Costa said. He did say that while his younger more rebellious self might have scoffed at seeing skateboarding going more mainstream, as a more “advanced skateboarder,” he sees the benefit.
“It’s already commercialized,” he said before emphatically pointing to passing skaters, “he doesn’t care, she doesn’t care, he doesn’t care… They’re all still going to skate.”
He says it will probably be good for his business, especially given that his new location was planned to be closer to the skatepark. But even better for the community.