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Tony Hawk          

Legendary Skateboarder, Entrepreneur & Founder of The Skatepark Project

Tony Hawk's journey from a young boy struggling to turn on his first skateboard to becoming an iconic figure in the world of skateboarding and beyond is nothing short of remarkable. His story exemplifies dedication, talent, and entrepreneurial spirit.

Introduced to skateboarding at the age of 9 by his older brother, Hawk's initial experiences were humble. However, his passion for the sport grew rapidly. Hawk's talent quickly became evident as he began winning amateur contests in California by the age of 12. By 14, he had turned professional, and by 16, he was dominating the competitive skateboarding scene. Beyond his achievements on the skateboard, Hawk's business acumen played a significant role in building his brand empire. From video games to clothing lines to a successful film production company, Hawk's has diversified his ventures while staying true to his roots in skateboarding culture.

Hawk's influence extends far beyond the skateboarding world. He has become a household name, winning numerous awards and accolades, and even surpassing other sports icons in popularity among fans. Hawk's commitment to giving back is evident through his charitable foundation, The Skatepark Project (formerly the Tony Hawk Foundation). By funding skatepark projects across the United States, he has provided millions of people with access to safe and inclusive skateboarding facilities. Hawk has further expanded his reach through books, podcasts, television appearances, and film projects, solidifying his status as a cultural icon and role model.

Speech Topics

How Did I Get Here? The Ascent of an Unlikely CEO

He's the man who put skateboarding on the map. He's the first to land a 900 (two and a half full rotations). He's also among the richest pitchmen in any sport. And, in a sport that's especially youth-oriented, Tony Hawk, a 40-something father of four, still connects with his audience by staying true to who he is. Moving easily between the ramp and the boardroom, Tony currently runs one of the most acclaimed action sports companies, a clothing line, and video game series bearing his name that has sold over $1 billion worldwide, making it the biggest selling action sports game franchise in gaming history. With Tony's typical modesty and humor, he tells the amazing story of his unprecedented success from skateboarder to CEO. Starting his business out of the trunk of his car, he pledged to maintain authenticity in all he did, and it's served him well. He has a deep connection to his audiences, fans and customers. With over 3 million followers, Tony is as great example of the power of social media. Tony's story of building a global brand to giving back to community, his lessons of leadership, perseverance and initiative are relevant to any group. Even if they don't wear skinny pants and grind the rails in a skatepark.


Tony Hawk Shares His Personal Alzheimer's Story
I visited my mom today. She has 93 years of life behind her, but the last 10 have been increasingly corrupted by Alzheimer’s and dementia. She was a secretary at a high school when I was young, later becoming a business teacher at a local college and eventually earning her doctorate in business education. She used to type so much that whenever we had a quiet moment together (usually in front of the TV), she would hold my hand and I could feel her fingers pulsating with keyboard strokes. In other words, she was subconsciously dictating her thoughts and experiences through phantom keyboards in real-time. At first, it annoyed me to no end; fingertips were tapping away on me while I had to endure "60 Minutes" (her choice, of course). She was strong, vivacious, quick-witted, edgy and ultra supportive in those days. When I see her now, she doesn’t recognize me. Sometimes there is a slight glimmer in her eye, sometimes she babbles incoherently, and sometimes she uncontrollably bursts into tears. Today we mostly sat in silence. I gave her updates on our family and fed her Coca-Cola through a straw every few minutes (which she still loves, even through her catatonic condition). But then I noticed her fingers twitching. I’m not sure for how long; maybe they’d been moving the whole time and I wasn’t paying attention. As I watched, I was reminded of her habit of typing unconsciously throughout my life. And even though it may have only been her body (yet again) betraying her, it gave me comfort knowing that perhaps she is still in there somewhere typing away about her life, her experiences, her feelings and our current conversation. Most of my visits end with a feeling of despair and impending finality, but today I left with a sense of hope.
Tony Hawk Foundation Aims To Raise $50,000 In June
Tony Hawk and the Tony Hawk Foundation are aiming to raise $50,000 in June to help build skateparks in communities that need them most.

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