If anyone needs proof of that Aurelien Giraud this is the real deal when it comes to the French Olympic Games skateboarding hopes followed by last year’s first Paris 2024 qualifying in Rome, Italy certainly provided that.
The week-long rivalry of the 24-year-old from Lyon was gaining momentum before reaching a completely different level in the final.
Like the gladiators of ancient times, Giraud dueled with world number Nyah Huston as the last eight made their final bids to finish on top.
When the Frenchman, in his fifth and final attempt at the trick, landed a perfect hardflip late kickflip over the hubba field, the crowd stood up in awe. He was glad to have hit on the trick Giraud had used for them later to imbue them with applause and see if they were enjoying themselves.
However, 12-time X Games winner Huston responded with a crooked grind with a switch heel flip and it was enough to win and Giraud finished second.
Although it was not the victory the Frenchman had hoped for, it was maintained that something bigger had happened.
Keeping pace with Huston enough to finish on the podium, Giraud has shown that on the Olympic skateboarding scene he has both the courage and the arsenal to take on the best, and if there is to be any medal fight in the future, he is the name to be should be in the conversation.
Aurelien Giraud: A skateboarding star with Olympic intentions
It’s not surprising that when competitions demanded the most of him, Giraud rose to the occasion: a trait that the skateboarder has developed throughout his career.
His willingness to go all out was what initially lured the skateboarder into the sport: “My father took me to a skate park in Lyon with roller skates, and then I saw these adults skateboarding,” said Giraud Konbini Sports. “And I wanted to be like them.”
From that moment, four-year-old Giraud became addicted to skateboarding. Gritting his teeth at the Gerland skate park, he began to hone his talent, winning his first skateboarding competition just three years later.
The Frenchman’s breakthrough came in 2015 when he won Tampa AM – a prestigious competition in Florida with over 200 amateur skateboarders competing, with the winners often offered sponsorship deals, contracts, and eventually turning pro.
The win launched his career, followed by invitations to elite events and even more victories.
In 2019, he showed he could challenge the establishment by taking first place on the Dew Tour. He then returned to competition in 2021, finishing third behind Huston and the Japanese Olympic champion Horizon Yuta. As if that wasn’t enough, Giraud is also a two-time French champion, Tokyo 2020 Olympian and current FISE Montpellier champion in men’s street skateboarding.
Giraud admits that skateboarding isn’t for everyone in the competitive sport, but he maintains that it’s one of the things he loves the most: “It gives you an adrenaline rush that makes you feel like you’re spreading your wings,” he said. Horse riding area. “You try things you wouldn’t try because you’d be afraid to do it on a normal day.”
Knowing how competitive Giraud is, the only person he isn’t afraid to push is himself – also away from the competition.
In addition to attempting to set a record for the largest ollie in the world (the Frenchman soared more than two meters), the street skater attempted to skate the infamous Lyon 25 – a staircase in his hometown that presents one of the world’s largest gaps.
Until today, Aaron “Jaws” Homoki he is the only skateboarder ever to successfully climb the steps, and he did so after more than one site visit. However, that didn’t stop the leading French skateboarder from starting on his own.
Five tries, a broken board and a small trip to the hospital for a cracked heel later, Giraud didn’t quite make it. But having dared to take on one of the greatest challenges of street skateboarding, the Frenchman once again showed the depth of his fearlessness.
And of this kind, his rivals should be aware of it.
With the next Olympics due to take place in Paris, the French’s expectant eyes are fixed on their greatest prospect of street skateboarding, and Giraud is all too aware of this:
“[Paris 2024] This is the ultimate goal. We’ve already started preparations and we’re aiming for a medal,” Giraud continued in an interview with Riding Zone before jokingly, “he won’t leave the country.”
The upcoming World Street Championships, which will also coincide with another qualifying stop for skateboarders looking to make it to Paris, will give Giraud’s followers a chance to once again see how he fares against the best of the rest.
And after an amazing performance in Rome where he found himself just short of first prize, there will still be hope that he can go a step further in Sharjah.