Sun, May 19, 2019 - Page 11 News List

Tony Hawk to be commentator for series

AP, SAN DIEGO, California

Tony Hawk arrives at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco on Feb. 18.

Photo: EPA-EFE

One of the first things Tony Hawk was looking forward to doing when he arrived in Shanghai for his debut as commentator for the Vans Park Series was to grab a skateboard and do some prep work.

“Skating the courses and connecting with the competitors directly in order to have better insight when the competition actually starts,” Hawk said in an e-mail exchange.

He is to be at the microphone when Vans Park Series starts its fourth year of competition this weekend, showcasing the world’s best park terrain skateboarders a year before the sport makes its Olympic debut.

Hawk is to join cohost Chris Cote for the five competitions, which continue in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on June 22 and 23, Montreal on July 12 and 13, Paris on Aug. 9 and 10, and the men’s and women’s championships in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Sept. 6 and 7.

“It’s fun for me as a fan of skating to share my expertise with a larger audience and give the casual viewer a better understanding in the nuances of skating,” he said.

Vans events are “authentic and raw. We have seen some of the most progressive and evolutionary tricks and techniques occur during all the excitement, especially in the finals, and having pay equality for prize money is hugely important in validating women skaters that have been slighted for far too long in other events,” he said.

Park terrain is “a hybrid of pool, vert and mini-ramp skating, with occasional ‘street’ elements added to the course,” Hawk said. “Focusing on only one of those disciplines will not benefit a competitor, so it is more likely that someone who grew up riding various skateparks will excel.”

With an international roster of skateboarding’s top pros, Vans Park Series awards a total series purse of more than US$700,000.

The contest is to be livestreamed on vansparkseries.com.

Hawk, 51, said it is too early to know if he will be broadcasting at the Olympics.

“I would entertain the idea of they ask me, but there have been no discussions as of yet. I think skateboarding will add a much-needed youthful energy to the Summer Games and will most likely be one of the highlights from Tokyo 2020,” he said.

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