When the Olympics were postponed earlier this year due to the coronavirus, hundreds—maybe thousands—of athletes had to literally put their lives on hold for another 365 days. One of those athletes was Nyjah Huston, one of the best professional skateboarders in the world, who was about to compete in his very first Olympic games.
It wasn’t a big deal for just him personally but also the entire skateboarding community. This would have been the first time skateboarders would have been able to compete at the Olympics, and it seemed like a huge breakthrough for the sport. Nyjah spoke to Cosmopolitan via phone about how he felt when he found out about the postponement and what he’s been doing with all that free time in quarantine. Spoiler: He’s not baking any banana bread.
Tell me what it felt like when you found out the Olympics were being pushed back.
Oh, man, it’s such a bummer. It’s just an unfortunate situation and especially unfortunate timing for me and us as skaters. I wish skating would’ve been in the Olympics, like, eight years ago, and of course the one year we get in there, this happens. But at the same time, it’s totally understandable and obviously I agree with [the postponement]. There’s no way it could have gone on this year with all this stuff going on.
Have you been able to practice during the pandemic?
I’ve really just been thankful that I am a skateboarder and I can still go out and do my job. I’m the type of person who has a hard time standing around doing nothing. I get bored really easily. I’m really thankful that I have my indoor skatepark that I’ve been able to go to a lot. As of late, I’ve been getting out a bit more—still staying safe and social distancing but doing some filming and stuff.
Have you taken up any hobbies during quarantine? Making banana bread like everyone else?
[Laughs] I’ve definitely done a lot more chilling and relaxing than I’m used to. I’ve been hanging out in my house in Laguna Beach, California, a bunch. I live with one of my best friends and one of my roommates, Alexa, so we just kick it. I also got a new place up in Los Angeles that I spent some time at. I just moved in there, like, two months ago, so I’ve been fixing that place up, getting some artwork, and making the place look nice. I miss going out and doing stuff with friends.
A post shared by Nyjah Huston (@nyjah) on Apr 29, 2020 at 6:05pm PDT
How have you been staying in touch with your loved ones now that Zoom happy hours are The Thing?
I’ve definitely been doing more FaceTiming than normal. But really, I’ve just got my three close skate friends I’ll go to my skatepark and film with. I try to keep it a small crew of people instead of inviting everyone out.
You mentioned you’ve been filming a lot. What does that look like for you?
Going into this year, it was the total opposite mindset. It was like, Alright, I’m gonna be staying super safe and healthy and in contest mode, getting ready for the Olympics, the biggest contest year ever. Since that got postponed, it completely switched around to like, Alright, I don’t wanna sit around and do nothing this year. So I decided to film a bunch of stuff for sponsors and put out some video parts at the end of the year or next year. And then I’m also working on a documentary that’s going to be coming out at the end of next year. I’ve been filming a bunch for that. I’m just trying to make use of these times and stay productive.
A post shared by Nyjah Huston (@nyjah) on Jun 19, 2020 at 6:12pm PDT
That’s awesome! So your documentary, did that idea come up during quarantine or before?
We’ve actually been working on it for a while now, for, like, the past year. It’s about my life, my upbringing, and everything I’ve been through leading up to the Olympics and my first time there.
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