The Most Recognizable Skateboarder In The World: Tony Hawk

Today we learned that Tony Hawk was the first person who was ever invited (and encouraged) to skateboard on the White House grounds. On June 2009, Birdman received an invitation to Father’s Day celebration where he mingled with the big guys and skated the halls of the Old Executive Office Building. Epic? Yeah! Another cool Hawk fact: in 2009, he was inducted into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame at its inaugural ceremony. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. Let’s take it back to where it all started for the legendary skater.

 

Tony Hawk was born in 1968 in San Diego, California. Hawk was described as a hyperactive child and found skateboarding as a great way to release that extra energy. His mother stated that he was “so hard on himself and expected himself to do so many things.” One time, Hawk struck out in baseball and was so upset that he hid an had to be “physically coaxed out” by his father. These instances of inner frustration led his parents to get him evaluated at school. The results showed that Hawk was “gifted.” He tested with an IQ score of 144, so the school placed him in advanced classes. Hawks skills developed and his parents supported his talent. Hawke became a professional skateboarder at just fourteen years old! He was the National Skateboard Association world champion for twelve consecutive years!

 

Tony Hawk wearing a helmet and knee pads performing a trick on a ramp with his board

Getty Images/WireImage/George Pimentel

 

On June 27, 1999, Hawk made history as the first skateboarder to land a “900.” It’s a trick in which the skater completes a two and a half mid-air revolutions on the board. After he completed the trick successfully, Hawk said, “This is the best day of my life.” After that feat, Hawk decided to retire from professional competition. But he continued to perform at the annual X Games until 2003 when he retired for good. In 2011, Hawk was still able to land the 900 and posted a video of it too. He wrote on Twitter, “I’m 42 and I did a 900 today.” And if that wasn’t impressive enough, in 2016 at 48 years old Hawk performed what he claimed would be his final 900.

 

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