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Tony Hawk Talks Skateboarding Debut at Tokyo Olympics – NBC 7 San Diego

Skateboarding icon Tony Hawk is watching his sport’s debut at the Tokyo Olympics closely – close enough to see the skate sessions, epic tricks, and dedication of every Olympian – and he really can’t believe his eyes.

“I can not believe it; It took a long time, “Hawk told NBC 7 host Steven Luke at the Tokyo Olympics, referring to the debut of skateboarding on the world’s greatest sports stage.

“I mean, if you had told me when I started skating over 40 years ago that one day it would be at the Olympics, I would not have believed you because we mostly made fun of it”, he added.

I mean, if you had told me when I started skating over 40 years ago that one day it would be at the Olympics, I wouldn’t have believed you because we mostly made fun of it.

Tony Hawk, skateboarding icon and NBC Olympics correspondent for the Tokyo Olympics

The skateboarding legend – who lives and skates in San Diego’s North County – is currently in the Olympics and serves as the NBC Olympic Correspondent for the Games.

Hawk, 53, joins other famous faces on the Olympic Correspondents’ team, such as figure skating besties Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir.

Professional skateboarder Tony Hawk is in Tokyo for his skateboarding debut at the Tokyo Olympics and shared what viewers should look out for when they watch the sporting events on television. “The art people should be looking for,” said Hawk. “Skating is as much about style as it is about technique.”

For Hawk, a 12-time world skateboarding champion, the experience was cool.

“I’m thrilled; it’s all going very quickly,” he said.

And while performing at the Olympics is exciting for him, he said the biggest thrill in Tokyo will be watching his sport – the one he’s made his career out of for decades – get its moment in the international spotlight .

He told NBC 7 that Team USA Skateboarding’s athletic accomplishments are incredible.

The roster for the Tokyo Olympics includes half a dozen athletes from San Diego County: Tokyo bronze medalists Hunter Eaton; Cory Juneau; Heiman Reynolds; Bryce Wettstein; Brighton Zeuner; Jordyn Barratt.

And when they step on those ramps, Hawk knows that the idea of ​​skateboarding as a sport will gain respect.

“That perception will change when you see the skill, determination and passion of these skaters,” said Hawk. “Of course skating has a lot of stigmatization and misconception about ‘it’s all just outlaws or outsiders or idlers’ or what not, but when you get to the point, it’s really about the determination and perseverance of these skaters and how they get it do thrive. “

That perception will change when you see the skill, determination and passion of these skaters.

Tony Hawk, skateboarding icon and NBC Olympics correspondent for the Tokyo Olympics

“And only in style,” added Hawk. “And when you see everything light up on this stage, I think people will change their minds dramatically just because they see the action.”

Hawk – known for skating vert and being the first vert skateboarder to land a 900 in 1999 – still skates at a high level every day.

“I mean, I just do it because I enjoy it. I never stopped, ”he said.

But could he have competed in Tokyo?

The master skateboarder told NBC 7 that he just isn’t sure about that.

“I don’t know, I’m more into the vert discipline, those are the bigger ramps – the ramps that are 13 to 14 feet in size – park style is a little small for me,” Hawk explained. “I know this might sound crazy, but I’m used to the big ramps and the timing. You get a lot more airtime on these ramps, so you have more freedom to do tricks in the air. “

Bryce Wettstein will represent the United States at the Tokyo Olympics, NBC 7’s Lauren Coronado reports

He said Team USA’s skate park at the Tokyo Olympics is extremely focused and detailed.

“This one (the parking ramp) requires a lot more precision and there isn’t much room for error in relation to your landing zone,” he explained. “And I like my big, smooth landing zone.”

But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t given the park course a whirlwind.

After all, he’s Tony Hawk.

“I was the first on the park course,” he said with a smile.

He had the opportunity to warm up the course before the Olympians arrived in Tokyo.

Hawk is used to skating with both the veterans and rising stars of his sport.

At home in San Diego’s North County, he often invites skateboarders to use his ramps.

“If you want to skate my ramp, you are very welcome. You can find me, ”he said. “I enjoy giving them the opportunity and helping them with whatever guidance they want – and not just with tricks, but with the question ‘How do you navigate professionally?’ I’ve been doing this for a long time and I’ve seen it go up and down and it’s difficult to maintain. “

San Diego Local and Team USA skateboarder Jagger Eaton won bronze at the very first ever Olympic skateboarding event on Saturday. NBC 7’s Steven Luke spoke to Eaton about his performance.

With skateboarding having a deep connection with Southern California and San Diego County, Hawk feels right at home during the sport’s debut at the Tokyo Olympics. He knows someone everywhere who builds ramps and coordinates and organizes the events.

“I see all these people here and I think, ‘Wait, are we just at the local skate park now?'” He told NBC 7.

And that’s exactly what Hawk loves about skateboarding.

People make it so special.

On a large or small stage, on a vertical or parking ramp, in the local skate park or at the Olympic Games, skateboarding is suitable for everyone and everywhere.

“I always say: ‘Skateboarding is the great balance.’ It doesn’t matter your age, your race, your background, your gender – everyone is welcome, ”said Hawk. “And you are only judged on how you skate.”

Skateboarding is one of several sports that are making their Olympic debut in Tokyo. Surfing – another classic from SoCal has already made waves – just like softball, 3×3 basketball, sport climbing and karate.

I always say: ‘Skateboarding is the great balance.’ It doesn’t matter your age, race, background, gender – everyone is welcome. And you’re only judged by how you skate.

Tony Hawk, skateboarding icon and NBC Olympics correspondent for the Tokyo Olympics

Skateboarding is one of several sports that are making their Olympic debut in Tokyo. Surfing – another classic from SoCal has already made waves – just like softball, 3×3 basketball, sport climbing and karate.

Skateboarding, sport climbing, surfing and karate will all make their debut at the Tokyo Olympics, with baseball and softball making a one-off return.

How to watch skateboarding at the Tokyo Olympics

Here is a complete guide on how to watch skateboarding in the Tokyo Olympics.

The highlights: Wettstein, Zeuner and Barratt will compete in the qualifying round on Tuesday at 5 p.m. PT (San Diego time). The top eight participants in this round will advance to the finals at 8:30 p.m. PT.

You can watch it on NBC prime time or via the streaming link below:

The men’s park team, including Reynolds and Juneau, will compete at the same time on Wednesday: 5:00 p.m. PT for qualifying and 8:30 p.m. PT (San Diego time) for the finals.

You can watch these events on NBC prime time or via the streaming link below:

Bryce Wettstein, 15, from Encinitas, is already on Team USA’s shortlist for a shot in history. She keeps an eye on the games in Tokyo. NBC 7’s Steven Luke talks to the teen about how she’s working toward her goal; Much of their practice takes place in their own backyard skate park.

And for everything you need to know about skateboarding at the Tokyo Olympics (including how to rate the skaters) and more information about the San Diego athletes competing, visit here these instructions.

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