Jack Fardell: Skating from Queanbeyan to the Olympic Games

Jack Fardell: Skating from Queanbeyan to the Olympic Games

Growing up skating the streets of Queanbeyan, Jack Fardell never dreamed the sport would take him all over the world - let alone the Olympics.

Fardell lives in Los Angeles as a member of adidas's global skateboarding team and last year travelled to more than 15 countries to compete and promote their latest movie.

Jack Fardell at Belconnen Skate Park last week.

Jack Fardell at Belconnen Skate Park last week.

Photo: Elesa Kurtz

The 27-year-old was back in Australia last month to promote something else, the 'Skateboard 2020 Commission' as the sport prepares for its Olympic debut in Tokyo.

The new body will oversee the path skateboarding takes to the 2020 Games and Fardell said it was hard to believe how far the sport had come.

"When I was a kid I didn't even know what a professional skateboarder was, so for it to get to this point is pretty insane," Fardell said.


"I spent a lot of time spent at Queanbeyan skate park putting in the hours, I started competing professionally at 11 and haven't looked back.

"To get the opportunity to represent your country and wear the green and gold would be pretty special - I never thought I'd be an Olympian.

"At the moment I'm in the top spot for my category, so hopefully I can maintain that spot for another two years but a lot can change."

The Australian Olympic Committee has allocated one of its four IOC scholarships to a skateboarding athlete and the sport will have two disciplines at the Tokyo Games, street and park.

"We get scholarships with our state institute of sport, which helps us with a nutrition health plan and training and anything we need to reach the level of an Olympic athlete," Fardell said.

Fardell competed at his first X Games when he was 11 and by the time he left school in Year 10 he was being paid to appear at skate events across Australia.

"I'm based out of LA but I travel nine months a year doing contests and being an ambassador for adidas. Filming movies and doing demos takes up most of my time," Fardell said.

"I've done a lot of cool stuff all over the world. I was in one of the bigger skate movies to date, it was a really fun project which they worked on for four years and I came in the for the last year, it was amazing.

"Last year we travelled to every continent doing a series of demos for the movie and built skate parks in countries for local kids to skate with us in little competitions."

Fardell admits life on the road can be tough but he usually has his wife with him and when asked where his favourite destination in the world was, the answer was simple.

"Home, always, you can't beat Australia - it's the best place in the world," Fardell said.

Eamonn Tiernan

Eamonn Tiernan is a sports reporter with The Canberra Times

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