Every day, star athletes step off of their Wheaties boxes and make haste to Washington to champion the causes closest to their hearts. Wednesday’s sports savior: Tony Hawk.
Setting: Shaw Middle School, before an assembly hall of pre-teens.
Event: Discussion of funding cuts for youth sports.
Bona fides: 12-time skateboarding world champion; builder of skateparks in low-income neighborhoods.
Backup: Amy Nakamoto of D.C. Scores, which runs after-school soccer programs for poor kids.
What he wants: To preserve funding for sports programs at public schools.
How he looked: Like Shaggy from “Scooby-Doo,” all grown up. Ear-length hair, sunken eyes. White golf-shirt, black jeans.
How he sounded: Inspiring, in a low-key, affable, surfer-esque way, reports our colleague Aaron Leitko.
Back-in-the-day anecdote: “When I started, all the skateparks were closing down and it was the least cool thing that you could do in high school. If you had a skateboard, jocks would come beat you up. It’s not necessarily like that anymore.”
Burning question from audience: Does Tony Hawk play “Tony Hawk” video games? Yes. His favorite: “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2,” he said. “That’s the one that wasn’t just a novelty skate game anymore, it was a real videogame that hardcore videogamers liked.”