In the three years since the last Olympics, exciting new faces have emerged on the skateboarding circuit, but many of the sport's heavy hitters from Tokyo are set to return. With so many athletes having legitimate medal ambitions, several exciting showdowns could be in store for Paris this summer.

Below are some of the biggest storylines from the world of skateboarding that will have an impact on the upcoming 2024 Olympic Games.

Japan remains one of the strongest skateboarding nations

After a dominant performance at Tokyo 2020 (three of four gold medals, five of 12 total medals), Japan is set for another strong showing in Paris. But if winning an Olympic medal is hard, for some Japanese skaters, making the Olympic team might be even harder thanks to the country's depth in the street events.

As of March 2024, Japan has five of the top-10 skaters in men's street and six of the top-10 skaters in women's street, per the world rankings maintained by World Skate that will be used for Olympic qualification. Each country can only have a maximum of three skaters per gender in each event.

Yuto Horigome, the reigning Olympic and X Games champion in men's street, is one rider who could end up on the bubble despite his success. The 25-year-old was part of a Japanese podium sweep at the 2023 World Championships, placing third behind countrymen Sora Shirai and Kairi Netsuke. Also in contention for an Olympic spot is 14-year-old prodigy Ginwoo Onodera, who broke onto the scene with a third-place finish at 2022 Worlds and a win at X Games Japan last year.

As for women's street, reigning Olympic gold medalist Momiji Nishiya, 16, remains one of the top skaters, but reigning world champion Yumeka Oda, 17, 2023 X Games silver medalist Liz Akama, 15, and Olympic bronze medalist Funa Nakayama, 18, are among the other athletes in the mix for spots in Paris.

Women's park is another event in which Japan will have strong medal odds. The nation has three of the top five skaters in the world rankings, led by 15-year-old Cocona Hiraki. At the Tokyo Games, Hiraki earned silver and became the youngest Olympic medalist since 1936. In the years since, she has remained a consistent podium presence and won the most recent world title in October 2023.

Youth movement continues in women's skateboarding

At the last Olympics, the average age of the women's skateboarding medalists was just over 14 years old. Those skaters are nearly three years older now, but all except one — park gold medalist Sakura Yosozumi — are still teenagers. Cocona Hiraki (15, JPN) and Sky Brown (turning 16 this year, GBR) remain particularly strong medal favorites in women's park, while the same can be said of Momiji Nishiya (16, JPN) and Rayssa Leal (16, BRA) in women's street.

Meanwhile, a new contingent is already emerging behind them. Last year's X Games may have offered a glimpse into the future as a pair of 13-year-old Australians stormed the stage to win gold medals: Arisa Trew in women's park and Chloe Covell in women's street. Both skaters will be 14 during the Paris Games and are among the new faces who could challenge for spots on the Olympic podium.

Gavin Bottger emerges as Team USA's newest gold medal hopeful

Another young skater making waves right now is Gavin Bottger. The 17-year-old American is the reigning world champion in men's park, won Dew Tour in 2022, and has been on multiple X Games podiums in recent years.

Currently the No. 1 ranked skater in men's park, Bottger is one of Team USA's top hopes for skateboarding gold in Paris. He's part of a strong core of U.S. park skaters vying to qualify for the Olympics that also includes Jagger Eaton, Tate Carew and Tom Schaar.

Jagger Eaton cements status as skateboarding's preeminent dual threat

Not only could Jagger Eaton become the first skater to qualify in both park and street at the same Olympics, he has a real shot at becoming the first skater to win medals in both events.

After earning a bronze medal in men's street at the last Olympics — with a broken ankle, no less — Eaton continued his success in that discipline by winning the 2021 Street League Super Crown Championship a few months later. On the park side, he won his first world title in 2023 and has nabbed a pair of X Games gold medals in recent years.

Although there are several events left that could significantly shake up the world rankings, the 23-year-old American is currently in position to qualify for both disciplines at the Paris Games.

Nyjah Huston still a top contender in men's street

As one of the most successful professional skateboarders of all time, Nyjah Huston's seventh-place finish at the last Olympics was a mild surprise but, ultimately, just a blip on the radar.

Since the Tokyo Games, however, Huston has had to deal with the most significant injury of his storied career. In August 2022, he tore the ACL in his right knee while filming a video part. Huston returned to competition seven months later and ended up winning a pair of World Skate events in 2023, proving that — despite the injury — the U.S. star is still one of the favorites for Olympic gold in men's street.

Sky Brown's attempt at Olympic history falls just short

With over 2 million followers on TikTok and 1 million followers on Instagram, Sky Brown is one of the most popular skateboarders in the world. At the Tokyo Olympics, she lived up to the hype by capturing a bronze medal in women's park as a 13-year-old. She then won her first park world title in February 2023.

Brown, who spends much of her time in California but competes for Great Britain, had an ambitious plan for Paris 2024: to qualify for two different sports. She started competing on the surfing circuit in hopes of qualifying for the Olympics in both skateboarding and surfing, but her surfing bid ultimately came to an end in March. She plans to try again for LA 2028, but for Paris, her sole focus will be on the women's park competition, where she will once again be a gold medal threat.