The town I usually cruise too when I´m in Sweden is called Skellefteå. I lived here for like 10 years or something.
Yesterday the city said no to build an "activity park" with a skatepark, basket ball court etc. The whole project cost was a little shy of 500.000 euros. A skatepark alone would prolly cost half that.
Anywho... Right after the city allocated about 25.000.000 euros for sports and the elderly (weird budget, but that was the press release) next year they denied the skaters a park.
2.200.000 euros for a soccer tent/hall, 1.700.000 euros for a horse shed... hmm why can´t they find the will to build a skatepark for 200.000 euros? I don´t get it.
It´s hard to describe how much the city puts into hockey and soccer here. It´s insane. And I´m for it, to a certain extent.
What I´m against is the city´s attitude, especially towards board sports. But that´s just they way it is up there.
Ski hills are for alpine skiers and their gates (no prodigies there) and the sport and recreational budget is for hockey and soccer.
I might also ad that Skellefteå was the wealthiest city in Sweden in 2007 with a surplus of 1.000.000.000 euros.
Article about it here, in swedish.
Here´s a clip from the Tony Hawk Foundation explaining a little bit about the importance of skateboarding and skate parks. Appearances by professional skaters and celebrities Lance Armstrong, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sean Penn and Pharrell.
On the other hand you have the winter olympics gaining popularity with the young due to snowboarding and the can´t wait to get their hands on skateboarding.
Thankfully the skaters are very skeptical towards the Olympics and the corruption, greed and raping of their sport that would come with participating.
But for being such close minded institutions, how can the Olympic Comity and the city of Skellefteå have such different views of skating? Well, we all know that.. The olympics will benefit from it (sponsor money and tv ratings) and Skellefteå will (as they see it, they don´t see the investment) lose a couple hundred thousand euros into poring cement on a deserted meadow.
Here are two good clips of great skate parks/skate plazas.
KETTERING OHIO, paid for by DC Shoes:
The DC one in a really good clip, skip to 1:23 to hear why Rob Dyrdek built it.
On a tangent about Rob, here´s a clip from a few years ago when he lived in San Diego:
Rob in tv commercial from 2003-ish?
Anyway, I need to get back into my pile of papers..
Here are some links, in swedish, about the skate park matter:
Nej till aktivitetsparken - http://norran.se/nyheter/norrochvasterbotten/article189798.ece
Skellefteå satsar på äldre och idrott - http://norran.se/nyheter/norrochvasterbotten/article189429.ece
Artikel på Tacky.se - www.tacky.se/skateboard/article/?id=101240