Hawk turned 43 last May.
He didn't celebrate with a party. He travelled to Sweden and put on a demonstration for his adoring fans, leaving them mesmerised by his skill.
He blew them away with the ultimate party trick - the same 900 spin that made him a legend.
Though Hawk was an accomplished street skater, his reputation rested on his skills as a “vert” (vertical) skater. During the 1980s and ’90s, he dominated skateboarding competitions. He won 73 titles and was named the top vert skater every year from 1984 to 1996. He also invented dozens of moves, including the ollie-to-Indy, the gymnast plant, the frontside 540-rodeo flip, and the Saran wrap. In one of skateboarding’s defining moments, Hawk executed a 900 twist (2 1/2 turns) at the 1999 X Games, a feat that had previously never been performed.
Tony Hawk, in full Anthony Frank Hawk (born May 12, 1968, San Diego, Calif., U.S.), American professional skateboarder who—through his technical innovations, successful equipment and apparel companies, and tireless promotional work—helped the sport of skateboarding enter the mainstream at the end of the 20th century.
His accomplishments are too numerous to mention - let's just say he's placed first or second at nearly every major national and international skateboard series in his career, including the National Skateboard Association series, the ESPN Extreme Games and The Hard Rock World Championships - earning the comparison to Jordan.
And like M.J., Hawk has taken something he enjoys and excels at and turned it into a very profitable life for himself and for his family. There are appearance fees. There's the prize money from competitions...
Things started to sync the day his older brother, Steve, handed 9-year-old Tony a blue fiberglass banana skateboard. Tony quickly abandoned his baseball bat and discovered he was destined for more than maintaining his balance or picking up speed and making turns on this low-riding board on wheels. He lapped his unconventional, push-it-to-the-limits nature to create skateboard tricks and stunts no one had ever done.
Skateboarding has received a significant boost in its world wide popularity due to the combined effect of its inclusion in the X Games, the profile of professional skateboarders such as American Tony Hawk, and various videogames that have served to promote skateboarding and the extreme sports nature of the stunts that can be executed.
With this information we see how professional competitions and video games allowed Tony Hawk to better promote the sport of skateboarding. Without these two variables the current popularity of skateboarding would not be where it is today. Tony Hawk became a household name through these competitons and his line of video games.
Skateboarding suffered through a decline in popularity in the early 1990s. Hawk helped precipitate the revival of skateboarding in the late 1990s with the introduction of a PlayStation home entertainment video game, entitled Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, a product that served to introduce Hawk and his high flying acrobatic talents to a new generation of young people.
Among other physical achievements, Hawk was the first skateboarder to execute a 720� rotation during a trick. He followed this trick with the development of a 900� rotational maneuver that he first demonstrated at the X Games in 1999.
By 16, Tony was considered the best competition skateboarder in the world. In the next 17 years, Hawk won 73 out of 103 pro contests and placed second in 19. He achieved his childhood quest: to be the best in this once-considered maverick sport.