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Even though he has been retired from competition since 1999, skateboarding legend Tony Hawk is one of extreme sports' most recognizable and celebrated athletes in the world.
Tony Hawk was nine years old when his brother changed his life by giving him his first skateboard. By twelve, Tony had national sponsors, by 14 he had turned pro, and by age 16 Tony Hawk was the best skateboarder in the world. Hawk went on to win over 80 competitions, by far the best record in skateboarding's history.
Tony's career wasn't stress-free, though. As the popularity of the sport rose and fell he felt the effects firsthand, and he strongly considered switching to a career other than the sport he loved. Ultimately his unrelenting passion was contagious-skateboarding rose to prominence again, with Tony front and center. He remains the uncontested innovator and role model, still performing demonstrations several times a year.
Tony has appeared in commercials and campaigns for Got Milk?, GAP, Mountain Dew, Coca-Cola, AT&T and Gatorade. His autobiography, HAWK-Occupation: Skateboarder was a New York Times bestseller. The Tony Hawk Pro Skater video game series from Activision has become one of the best selling video game franchises of all time. He created Tony Hawk's Gigantic Skatepark Tour for ESPN, which is second only to the X Games in viewership. In 2002 he launched the Boom Boom Huckjam, a 30-city arena tour featuring skateboarders, BMX bike riders and Motocross riders as well as top punk and hip hop acts. He also has also has his own pro model shoe through Adio and developed Hawk Clothing, a kids skate clothing line.
With the creation of the Tony Hawk Foundation, Hawk also has made an effort to give something back to the sport that has given him so much. Designed to promote and help finance public skateparks in low-income areas, the foundation has distributed more than $1,000,000 to non-profit groups building skateparks throughout the U.S.
"The whole skatepark experience has been a wonder to skaters and non-skaters alike. Senior citizens marvel at the athleticism and imaginations of the skaters. We remain indebted to the Tony Hawk Foundation not only for the cash and vouchers, but for also the insights into the sport and the little pep talks we received throughout the process. What you did for us here in Somerset was the catalyst that made it possible." — David Snider, Councilman, Somerset, Ohio
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