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ROLLERBLADING, or in-line skating, dates from 1979, when Scott and Brennan Olson, two brothers from Minnesota, discovered an antique in-line skate in a sporting goods store. Inspired by the design, the brothers forged

a primitive rollerblade by attaching polyurethane wheels and a rubber toe-brake to a pair of ice-hockey boots. Four years later, Scott Olson founded Rollerblade, Inc., from which the sport of in-line skating takes its common name. Two decades later, competitive rollerblading attracted thousands of participants and viewers every year, while millions of Americans of all ages turned to rollerblading as a form of recreation and low-impact exercise.


Powell, Mark, and John Svensson. In-Line Skating. 2d ed. Champaign, Ill: Human Kinetics, 1998.

John M.Kinder