Canberra's Rising Skateboarding Star Takes Flight with New World-Class Ramp

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Canberra's Rising Skateboarding Star Takes Flight with New World-Class Ramp

A Rising Star in the Skateboarding World

Katie Pike, an 18-year-old from Canberra, Australia, has taken the skateboarding world by storm in just four short years. Despite narrowly missing out on qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympics, her dedication and talent have made her a force to be reckoned with.

Katie's passion for skateboarding began at the age of 15 when she received a skateboard as a birthday gift. With the help of free lessons at the Belconnen Skate Park and inspiration from YouTube and Instagram, she quickly mastered the basics.

"Skating's a big part of my life," she says. "I just love the fact that you can show your personality and style through something you love like skating."

However, Canberra's lack of competitive skateboarding infrastructure presented a challenge for Katie's training. She regularly traveled to Sydney and the Gold Coast on weekends, incurring significant costs and stress.

The recent construction of a new 7-meter-tall vert ramp in Belconnen has been a game-changer for Katie. This world-class facility, modeled after Tony Hawk's vert ramp, is just minutes from her home and provides her with the ideal training environment.

"It's practically at my back door," she says. "It's five minutes from home ... so this will save me a lot of money and stress with travel. I think it will improve my training a lot."

The new ramp has also generated excitement within the Canberra skateboarding community. Skateboarding photographer and boarder David Pang believes it has put Canberra back on the map as a top skateboarding destination.

"We've got this fantastic, world-class ramp which is based on Tony Hawk's vert ramp which is used for most of the competitions around the world," he says. "It means the upcoming Canberra skaters and Australian skaters have a ramp that is world class, so when they go to international events they're used to the transition and size of the ramp."

The Canberra Skateboarding Association (CSA) is hopeful that the new ramp will not only benefit elite athletes like Katie but also foster a thriving skateboarding community for all ages and abilities.

"Watching people like Katie skate is amazing," says CSA president Tony Caruana. "We've already got some Olympic hopefuls in Canberra, and in years to come hopefully we see some locals getting into the Olympics."

The CSA is also advocating for upgrades to other skate parks in Canberra, ensuring that everyone has access to safe and inclusive skateboarding facilities.

"That's the great thing about skate parks, all ages, all abilities and different user groups from skateboarders, scooter riders and BMX riders as well," says Caruana. "It's a great community space we can all share."

With her dedication, talent, and access to world-class facilities, Katie Pike is poised to make her mark on the international skateboarding scene. As she sets her sights on the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, the future looks bright for this young skateboarding star.