One-on-One with Tony Hawk
His name is synonomous with skateboarding, and despite not being on the competitive circuit for a number of years, Tony Hawk has become a sort of alternative sport emissary to the world, traveling widely to put on skateboarding exhibitions and to promote his charitable foundation. One of his greatest pleasures is traveling with his own four children, who sometimes accompany him on business and exhibition trips. Traveler Editor in Chief Keith Bellows spoke with Hawk in the March issue about some of his recent travels:
What drives you to do your mission work?
The least I can do with all the success I’ve had is to help give the same opportunities to kids who might not otherwise have them. I started a foundation to build public skate parks in low-income areas. I also went to Sierra Leone on behalf of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and for the Right To Play organization. It was probably the most eye-opening experience of my life. Poverty was so prevalent, yet the kids were excited to see us.
We were there to give out sporting goods and to help get former child soldiers, for example, playing with other kids again. They learned volleyball, Frisbee, jump rope. They called my skateboard–something they’d never seen–a “roller buggy.” The only cement I found where we could skate in the town we visited was at a bombed-out school. I gave kids rides up and down the hallway on my skateboard.
Read the full interview here.
Photo: Greg Gorman
- Nat Geo Expeditions