Prior to this week, Zion Wright was ranked #16 for USA Skateboarding and #114 internationally in the World Skate points ranking for Olympic quota spots, after injuries kept him out of much of the qualification process in 2019. If you didn’t have him picked to be skating to the podium waving the Stars & Stripes for the fans in Des Moines after locking up the third of three spots on the USA Olympic team, you’re not alone. 

men's park final dew tour des moines 2021 zion wright
Photo Credit: Dangaard
Zion Wright.

But after one of the most progressive and propulsive runs ever seen in Park competition, and with 60,000 points on the line for 1st place now that Dew Tour is sanctioned by World Skate as a Pro Tour event, it turns out miracles can happen.

cory juneau
Photo Credit: Leal
Cory Juneau

Here’s how: 

After several leaderboard swaps with Swedish skater Oskar Rozenberg and 14-year-old American Gavin Bottger throughout the best-of-four runs contest, Wright turned the volume all the way up in Run 4, opening with the only 540 transfer over the center island feature seen all week. Zion Wright is like that when it comes to announcing he’s coming in hot. 

men's park final dew tour des moines 2021 Oscar Rozenberg
Photo Credit: Dangaard
Oscar Rozenberg

Landing switch, he took it straight into a fakie Indy air on the big wall, then worked his way back around to hit the same center box jump with an Indy 360 into a backside 540. From then on, he seemed unstoppable, and he was: a frontside alley-oop transfer, a couple of high-speed 5-0 grinds, an effortless frontside air, a frontside blunt, and, at the buzzer, a heelflip Indy that has become one of his signatures: he throws them big, limbs spread all the way out, grab fully-tweaked. The crowd went wild.

Gavin Bottger

With 7 of 8 skaters in the Final representing the USA, even the win wouldn’t have guaranteed Wright a spot on the team for Tokyo if any of the others had fared even a little bit better on Sunday. In the final points math, he beat out Tom Schaar for the #3 spot, with 61,714 World Skate quota points to Schaar’s 61,240.

“It was kinda getting down to where I needed to put it down, and I put it down on the last run,” he said after the contest. “All gas, no brakes, as my dad would say.” 

zion wright
Photo Credit: Leal


Wright was as surprised as anybody when he realized he’d made the cut.

“I was dealing with a bunch of injuries in the past when all of this started to get points, so my approach to this event was just kind of to dedicate my all to it, go hard, and see what comes out of it. I guess it paid off! I’ve dealt with so many emotions… it’s been a journey for sure. It feels really good.”

Liam Pace

Wright said the win felt especially good because he got to share the podium with his good friend Oskar Rozeneberg and with Gavin Bottger, a young skater he’s been excited to help mentor, and because Tom Schaar was graciously the first to congratulate him for bumping him below the top-3 cut line for the Tokyo Olympics.  

Tom Schaar

“It’s skateboarding at the end and beginning of the day,” Wright said. “Skateboarding is a cultural type thing and it’s all love: we all love each other so it’s like, why not be able to support everyone and be able to give it up for each other.”

Now he’s already looking ahead to what’s next.

“Team USA! It feels good,” Wright said, wrapping himself in the Stars & Stripes. “I’ve got them on my back now, so we’re going.”

Tate Carew

Men’s Park Final Results:

1. Zion Wright (USA) 91.04 

2. Oskar Rozenberg (SWE) 86.10 

3. Gavin Bottger (USA) 86.00 

4. Liam Pace (USA) 82.04 

5. Tate Carew (USA) 80.17 

6. Tom Schaar (USA) 79.98 

7. Jagger Eaton (USA) 79.66 

8. Cory Juneau (USA) 66.14

Winning Runs: Zion Wright Wins Men’s Park Finals at Dew Tour Des Moines 2021

Sound off in the comments below!

Join the conversation