Picture: 123RF/YANLEV
Picture: 123RF/YANLEV

Skateboarding will feature at the Olympic Games for the first time in 2020‚ and Capetonian star Jean-Marc Johannes is dreaming of being there.

Johannes will become the first skateboarder to receive special recognition at the Cape Town Sports Council awards on Wednesday‚ but his dreams are firmly fixed on Tokyo.

"It’ll be the fulfilment of a lifelong dream to represent my country‚" Johannes told SportsClub Magazine. "So I’m going to work hard on performing well around the world and hopefully qualify."

The Cape Town Sports Council awards honour athletes in all sporting codes that fall under the Western Cape cultural affairs department‚ and Johannes is being recognised as SA’s most decorated skateboarder and a world record holder.

He snagged the record by performing 14 "nollie heelflips" in one minute at the Shred Skatepark in Paarden Island‚ Cape Town. The trick involves using the front foot to push the nose of the skateboard down while the back foot slides backwards‚ spinning the board‚ before the rider lands on it.

"Attempting to break the nollie heelflip record was one of the most fun and challenging things I’ve ever tried to do‚" Johannes said. "It brought me back to where it all started‚ when I learnt it years ago and tried to lock it down every day."

Johannes started skateboarding when he was nine‚ won his first competition at 11, and was in SA’s top 10 by the time he was 15. He is now one of a handful of South Africans competing internationally‚ mainly in Europe.

He said he was humbled to be honoured at Wednesday’s event at the University of the Western Cape. "It is a huge milestone in my career to be the first skateboarding athlete to be honoured at the Cape Town Sports Awards. I know it will bring inspiration and opportunity to the sport in SA."