For skateboarders at the Tokyo Games, participation in these Olympics has been about respect. And what better way to earn it but by showing off the determination, courage and skills the sport requires?

In their Games debut, skateboarders have performed injury-defying moves, sliding down railings, vaulting over steps and rolling down ramps at amazing speeds. What might best define skateboarders, however, is their persistence and resilience, which were on full display at the Games.

If there is one thing certain about skateboarding, it's that competitors will fall — and fall hard. They may take a rail in the groin, or smash a knee or elbow on the ground or on one of the concrete course’s sharp corners.

But if there is one thing certain about the skateboarders themselves, it’s that they will always get up and again. Spills are so much a part of the sport that learning how to fall is as important as learning a new trick.

“Skateboarding is all about falling,” world champion skateboarder Ryan Sheckler told The New York Times. “It’s key to everything. If you aren’t falling, you aren’t learning. You have to hit the ground to progress.”

Information from Reuters was used in this report.