Tony Hawk Shares Feelings About Olympics Adding Skateboarding

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Tony Hawk is thrilled that skateboarding has finally been embraced by the Olympics — but he’s not exactly upset about not competing in the historic event. 

Park and street skateboarding will make their second appearance at the upcoming 2024 Summer Games in Paris, and Hawk, 56, exclusively gushed to Us Weekly about the long-awaited moment.

“I’m ecstatic that I get to live to see it grow so much and be so widely accepted,” the skateboarding legend — who spoke to Us while promoting his collaboration with Starbucks’ At-Home Cold Coffees — said. “When I was a kid, skating was the furthest thing from cool.”

Hawk explained, “I had to hide my skateboard when I was a freshman in high school because I would get bullied and hassled for just having it. Now, people can choose to skate, they can do it at their leisure, they can make a career out of it, they can be Olympians.”


Tony Hawk.
Rich Fury/Getty Images for SXSW

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Skateboarding made its debut at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo where host nation Japan led the medal count, taking home a total of five. Team USA’s Cory Juneau and Jagger Eaton earned bronze medals in men’s park and men’s street, respectively. 

As for why it took so long for skateboarding to be added to the Olympics, Hawk said it was the result of a slow burn.

“It got a pretty good kickstart in the early 2000s, in terms of more recognition and availability,” he noted. “But in the last five or 10 years is when the push for equality came, especially because of the Olympic inclusion. That really accelerated the interest level.”

Despite his excitement, however, Hawk was quick to admit that he’s not itching to be an Olympian himself. 

“Not really, no,” Hawk said. “There were so many events through the years. When the X Games came into play, that was our Olympics.”

Debuting in the summer of 1995, the X Games featured a plethora of skateboarding events and helped propel the sport into the mainstream. Throughout his numerous appearances, Hawk earned a total of 16 X Games medals. 

Tony Hawk Reveals True Feelings About Skateboarding Being Included in the Olympics
Rick Kern/WireImage

While he might not actually be putting on the pads for any events at the Olympics, Hawk will be on hand in France to help mentor the athletes who are competing.

“I will be in Paris,” Hawk said. “I’ll get to skate the course. I’ll get to hang with all the riders. That’s the best-case scenario. I don’t have the pressure that the entire country is relying on me for success.”

As for his mentoring style, Hawk said it’s really a case-by-case basis — but he instills one important belief into everybody. 

“They’re all so different, but I try to give them tips in terms of keeping their trick variety,” he explained. “At some point in my life, I realized if I go and work on a skate routine and I do it to the point where they become boring, that’s when I know I’m going to make them at all costs or in any situation, no matter what the pressure is.”

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To get ready for Paris, Hawk has partnered with Starbucks on their line of at-home cold coffees.

Tony Hawk Reveals True Feelings About Skateboarding Being Included in the Olympics
Aaron Smith

“You’re used to seeing me do stunts that have a disclaimer: don’t try this at home,” Hawk said. “With the new Starbucks iced blended coffees, we are encouraging people to try it at home.”

He continued, “Sixty percent of people buy their iced coffee at cafes because they think they can’t make it at home as well. This is your chance to actually make it at home.”

For more information on Starbucks’ line of iced coffee blends and cold brew concentrates, click here

The 2024 Summer Olympics kick off with the opening ceremony on July 26, with skateboarding competitions beginning July 27.

With reporting by Christina Garibaldi

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