With the majority of inline skating events being centered around the major cities within the United States, it can make it rather difficult for individuals who live in the middle states to participate and test their skills in a competition format regularly. With the blading boom still going strong and new and old skaters strapping up, there are also new events popping up looking to make an impact within their regional communities.
One of those groups who have made their presence known is the Blade OK organizers representing the greater Oklahoma area, composed of individuals like Zach Smith, Zac Smith (no relation), Arok Nevaquaya, Stephen Hart, Ben Sanders and Kevin Womack, among others. The Blade Ok group have worked diligently to create an event that will bring skaters from their surrounding states together for the sole purpose of promoting inline skating to the individuals in their community. And thus, the Oklahoma Showdown was born!
In a little less than three months time the organizers were able to work with the city of Norman’s parks & recreations department to setup an all-day skating event that would host competitions for the youth, bladies as well as men’s divisions. They also worked with the non-profit blading organization Donate and Skate to provide free new and used skates to any one interested in starting inline skating but may not have the funds available to start skating. The organizers and the city of Norman were able to raise money to buy seventeen pairs of new junior K-Skates from Kaltik as well as Them Skates provided two pairs of extra small skates to give away as well. By providing new skates to the kids the Blade Ok group are ensuring that the next generation of kids start off with the proper equipment to hit the ground running (or rolling in this case).
With a hefty prize pool and one of the mid-west’s best skateparks hosting the event, the Oklahoma Showdown brought out some of the United States heaviest hitters such as Chad Hornish, Eric Michael, Phil Gripper, John Sullivan, Aarin Gates and Oklahoma’s most famous blader, Chris “Okie” Calkins, to kick off the inaugural event in style. The event hosted competitions in both the mini-ramp, bowl and street sections which allowed skaters from all skill levels an opportunity to showcase their abilities in whatever obstacles they prefer. It is also quite remarkable that not one but TWO couples shared the winner’s podium at the Oklahoma Showdown, John Sullivan and Aarin Gates plus Chris Calkins and Lizzy Wax!
The all-day event had some heated battles but the winners of the day were:
MEN’S STREET= JOHN SULLIVAN
MEN’S BOWL= ERIC MICHAEL
MEN’S MINI= CHRIS CALKINS
WOMEN’S STREET& BOWL= AARIN GATES
WOMEN’S MINI= LIZZY WAX
JUNIOR’S STREET & MINI= SOPHIE WRIGHT
OFFICIAL OKLAHOMA SHOWDOWN RECAP EDIT BY BEN SANDERS OF IROLLERBOOT
HERE ARE MORE PICTURES OF THE 2022 OKLAHOMA SHOWDOWN
Chad Hornish zero negative makio. Picture: John Sullivan
Eric Hallimen backflip & front savannah. Picture: Victor Delgado
Randy Juarez rodeo flip. Picture: Victor Delgado
Thanks to all the Blade OK organizers for their hard work in creating the Oklahoma Showdown as well Veronica Tracy and the city of Norman’s Parks and Recreations department for their assistance & their generous donation towards buying new skates for the kids.
The Comanche Eagle staff was made by renowned native artist Uhduh Pawooned Nauni, who is a full blood Comanche. The staff represents strength, courage and bravery and usually given the the warrior with the most kills after a war party. Blade OK organizer Arok Nevaquaya wanted something to represent the roots of Oklahoma.