Singapore urban sport athletes hope for better facilities, support in bid for 2028 Olympics

Singapore’s urban sport athletes are aiming for better facilities and support as they set their sights on the 2028 Olympics. Despite missing out on next month’s Paris Olympics, skateboarder Felix Balzer and national climber Luke Goh remain hopeful about qualifying for the next Games.

Felix Balzer first experienced skateboarding at just three years old and has been passionate about it ever since. Now nine, the young athlete competed in the qualifiers for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games held in Dubai earlier this year.

Although he didn’t secure a spot at the Games next month, the schoolboy remains hopeful about qualifying for future editions. The earliest opportunity for him to do so is the 2028 Games in Los Angeles.

“My favorite part about skateboarding is that it’s extreme,” he shared. “There’s a lot of creativity, like you can invent tricks. And it’s about the community – it’s great.”

In a bid to attract a wider and younger audience, skateboarding and sport climbing made their Olympic debuts at the postponed Tokyo Games in 2021.

With both sports now included in the quadrennial Summer Games, urban sport athletes in Singapore, like Felix, are hoping for better facilities and support to make their mark at the world’s premier sporting event.


National climber Luke Goh, 21, also did not qualify for this year’s Games but feels even more motivated about his future chances.

“It gets taken more seriously because it’s in the Olympics now, and I’m really glad that over the years, we’ve seen this huge growth in climbing and how climbing is perceived by the general public. So it is a positive change,” he said.

In the Olympics, sport climbing involves three formats: bouldering, speed, and lead.

With its inclusion in both the Olympics and the Asian Games, Goh hopes sport climbing will also be featured in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games. The next edition of the regional event will take place in Thailand next year.

“If we just look at it, the SEA Games prepares athletes for the Asian Games, and the Asian Games prepares them for the Olympics. It will be a very good stepping stone for athletes looking to take their competitive journey to the next level,” noted Goh, who was crowned champion of last year’s Southeast Asian Boulder League.

Regarding Singapore’s prowess, Goh said its sport climbing athletes can “definitely get medals.”

“I don’t really doubt our capability in that. It will be hard work regardless, but I’m pretty sure we can,” he added.

However, he emphasized the importance of taking small steps, such as finding more ways to get people interested and excited about the sport, along with improving climbing facilities in Singapore.

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