PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Reuters) - Olympic silver medallist Ayumu Hirano might have the chance to gain revenge on nemesis Shaun White sooner than the next Winter Games in Beijing as he entertains the possibility of competing in skateboarding at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games.
White edged out the Japanese in the final run of the men’s snowboard halfpipe final on Wednesday to claim a third Olympic gold medal. Hirano had to make do with silver once again, having also finished second in 2014.
According to Kyodo News Agency, Hirano is contemplating competing in Tokyo when skateboarding makes its Olympic debut.
“If I’m going to start aiming for (Tokyo 2020), I don’t have much time. I’ll need to train hard,” the 19-year-old said. “I need to organise my thoughts. It’s just a possibility at this point.”
If Hirano does choose to compete, he may come up against White yet again after the American spoke about wanting to try his hand at skateboarding shortly after picking up his snowboarding gold on Wednesday.
However, skateboarding great Tony Hawk believes it will be hard for the American to reach the standards required in time for Tokyo, especially as the Olympic formats of park and street are vastly different to the vert boarding White has done in the past.
“I don’t think he realises what that would entail,” 49-year-old Hawk told the Australian Associated Press in Sydney on Thursday.
“Just doing vert tricks in the park is not going to get you onto the team. I think it would take a lot of training for him,” he added.
“I would rather see someone who has devoted themselves to just skateboarding because I don’t believe in skating for just the sake of accolades — I believe in skating for the passion.”
Reporting by Jack Tarrant; Editing by John O'Brien