Finishing 3rd in Women’s Skateboard Street at Dew Tour in 2019 was a breakout performance for Dutch skateboarder Candy Jacobs, who says it was her first major contest podium and a life-changing moment.

For one thing, it officially put her on the radar of the Netherlands Olympic Committee and Netherlands Sport Federation in the lead-up to skateboarding’s debut at the Tokyo Olympics. When paired with her 4th place finish at the 2019 Street League World Championships, her Dew Tour podium helped put her at #5 on the World Skate Women’s Skateboard Street rankings and #1 among European skaters, essentially guaranteeing a trip to Tokyo.

We caught up with her by phone from her home in Tegelen, in the Limburg province of Netherlands, where she’s been spending her quarantine downtime with her family and helping expand Skatepark Venlo, her local park.

Let’s start with your Dew Tour podium because I remember that being a big emotional moment for you.
Yeah! Dew Tour was a crazy one! I was feeling really good about my skateboarding, I was fully healed from some injuries, and it was such a fun contest. I love outdoor contests, always. It’s just a little bit more fun than arena contests. So it was everything I dream of, just going into it, and then to get my first major podium… I was super stoked.

As you think about qualifying for the Olympics and everything, how did that change things for you to get a podium that early in the qualifying process?
Just the thought of it is crazy. The Olympics was never the dream. Top three at Dew Tour was the dream! And then it’s like, “Yo, you want another dream? You could potentially go to the Olympics.” I found out there’s a lot of opportunities that come with doing well at contests and maybe qualifying for the Olympics. Dew Tour proved that to me because I got that third place position and then right away the Dutch Olympic Committee called me and they were like, “Listen, we want to offer you legit support as an athlete for our Olympic team.” So that one moment at Dew Tour actually changed my whole life in ways I didn’t even know right away.

What does that support look like?
It means, first of all, that I have a steady income, a monthly stipend just dropping in the bank every month. Ever since I started skating professionally I’ve never really had that. I used to go from contest to contest and if I didn’t do well enough, money-wise, I was unsure if I could even get to the next contest. With my sponsorship deals I have people give me stuff and that’s awesome, I’m super thankful, but I’ve never had a steady income from sponsors. As soon as the Dutch Olympic Committee called, now I have health insurance and a monthly stipend, they even gave me a car. My life really changed in that moment.


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Sportsgala 2019 😈 don’t know how we got here but we’re enjoying the ride🙏💪

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You did really well at the Street League World Championships, too, finishing 4th, and those two results together now put you at #5 in the World Skate rankings. How does it feel to be where you are right now, sitting in the top 5 and being the highest-ranked European skater?
Right before the whole COVID situation started, I got a call from the Dutch Skateboard Federation and they said, “Listen, you’re going to the Olympics. You’re qualified.” Even before the contests that were supposed to happen this year, it was locked in. Every time I talk about it, it seems unreal. But it is real! It’s happening! For me, with this whole experience going towards the Olympics, I’ve tried to make it my cherry on top of everything else I’ve already done because I’ve done so many cool contests, I’ve gotten to go on so many cool trips, I’ve filmed a street part and all that stuff, and this was a new door to try, and then opening it went so, so well.


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The loves of my life🥰

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If it weren’t for COVID we’d be headed to Tokyo this week. How have you been spending the unexpected downtime?
I’ve had two crazy injuries with my knees that took longer to heal than I’d expected, so I’ve been healing up and right now is a good time to do that, so mainly I’ve been doing a lot of physical therapy. I also got a new puppy, and I’ve been spending a lot of good time with my family. I haven’t been home this much in like 10 years, because of traveling and going to contests all the time, so catching up with my family and friends is cool. But at the same time, I’m ready to go. I just want to travel and skate. In the last two or three weeks, things have been opening up more here. My parents, both of them are 50+ and my dad works at an elderly home, so we’ve been careful, but slowly things are opening up and we’ve been getting out more. Like, we’ve been able to go to skateparks again.


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Last time we talked you’d just opened Skatepark Venlo, a park you helped build. How’s that going?
Today we got a shitload of wood to expand the skatepark and I actually just got back from building all day. We’re doing it with a youth work organization. At first, they gave us a little part of a garage and now we’re expanding it, so it’s going really well! I’m just trying to create more awareness about how sick it is and what we can do with skateparks. People from all rings of life can come to a skatepark, you know? It doesn’t matter if you’re a 40-year-old white dude or if you’re an 11-year-old trans girl, everyone’s welcome. I’m just trying to spread more awareness of that.

What’s the skate scene like in the Netherlands?
The scene in the Netherlands is actually booming. It’s been good for a minute! We have some amazing Dutch skaters like Daan van der Linden, Nassim Guamaz, and Rom Maatman, and now we have a luxury situation where almost every city has a good skatepark. Almost every big city has an indoor skatepark, so the scene has been super good and we have so much young talent coming up, people like Keet Oldenbeuving and Roos Zwetsloot and Remco Erkenland. I’ve been skating a bunch with this kid Diego Broest who is like 13 years old can already do 270 back lips, switch front blunts, all that stuff. We have an Olympic training facility that’s insane and super high-tech. Everything is adjustable, like we have a manny pad that rises up out of the floor so you can put it as high up as you want. Rune Glifberg designed an insane new park with three bowls and a street park in Amsterdam that just opened last month. So the awareness is definitely big, people love skateboarding and the media here hypes it up.

What do you miss most now that all the contests are on pause?
I mean… everything! I realize I’ve definitely underappreciated all the fun times going to contests all around the world the last few years, getting to see all my friends, getting to travel and see beautiful cities and all that stuff. And on the other hand there’s a lot of pressure: it all seems really fun and it all is really fun, but there’s also a real serious side to it because it’s my job now, it’s my life. I don’t always have to win, but I always want to do my personal best, and what I’ve realized from this pause is that I miss all of it! I even miss that pressure, because it makes me skate crazier stuff than I normally would. And I miss my friends a lot. We normally see each other at least every five or six weeks and now it’s been five or six months. I even miss sitting in a plane, which I used to absolutely hate. I miss meeting local people in different countries, all that stuff. These last few months have given me a really good insight and perspective on all the cool things we got to do over the last few years. It’s been wild!

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