The Action Sports Report
Tony Hawk boosts during a demo at his fundraiser.
[Ed.'s Note: The Action Sports Report is a weekly blog that covers all sports in the action genre.]
Sunday afternoon, Tony Hawk held his fifth-annual Stand Up For Skateparks fundraiser in Beverly Hills, just two days after appearing on the Bonnie Hunt show.
An impressive list of Hawk's buds—including Shaun White, Gretchen Bleiler, Perry Ferrell, Mia Hamm, Mat Hoffman, Bucky Lasek and David Spade—showed up to help the skateboard legend raise more than $1 million to build skateparks in low-income communities, including $78,000 to kick start a project in Tierrasanta, Calif., Hawk's childhood hometown. Mia Hamm donated a soccer experience for 10 young girls, which sold for $55,000. A skate experience with Ryan Sheckler—at his new 9,000-square-foot indoor skate park—went for $30,000. During the auction, Hamm got into a bidding war over a cooking experience with Duff Goldman from the Food Network's Ace of Cakes. When the bid exceeded her original self-imposed ceiling, Hamm stood up and yelled to hubby Nomar Garciaparra, "Hey, Nomar! You gonna play next year? Can I afford this?"
The next Hawk-funded skatepark, which broke ground May 31 in Compton, Calif., opens in December. — Alyssa Roenigk
Shaun White brings video games to the classroom.
A day after Hawk's event, Shaun White spent the morning at Norwood Elementary School in Los Angeles teaching a group of fifth graders about the benefits of physical fitness. His teaching tool: videogames. To celebrate the launch of Shaun White Snowboarding: Road Trip (read the review here), White gave one-on-one lessons on Wii Balance Boards—which he and game publisher Ubisoft donated to the school—and then signed everything from skate decks to 10-year-old arms. We caught up with White after the event:
"It was wild. I hid in the back of the classroom behind a wall while the kids came into the auditorium. The Ubisoft professional game players gave an introduction and then I came out. We talked about sports: skateboarding, snowboarding, and soccer, which I played as a kid. They didn't know how a videogame was created, so we talked about motion capture. It was fun to rap out with kids, cause I don't get to do that too often. Then they got to play the game and I walked around and helped them out. Any time you can get kids off the couch to enjoy something is fun. I couldn't sit still for long as a kid, so this would have been my kind of game." — A.R.
Jill Kintner works out on her Alter-G machine.
Less than six weeks removed from reconstructive ACL surgery on Oct. 2, BMX Olympic bronze medalist Jill Kintner is already back on her bike, thanks to alternative treatment she's receiving at the Olympic training facility in Chula Vista, Calif.—and a lot of hard work. Kintner plans to recover fully in time for a couple early season BMX races in February/March and the start of mountain bike season in April. (Yep, she's returning to the mountains fulltime.) Kintner checked in with us on Day 39 (yesterday) of rehab:
"The day of my surgery, I started rehab in a hyperbaric chamber and have been working out two to four hours a day since. At first, it was weird to be in the training center after the Olympics—there were like four people at dinner each night—but it's incredible to have access to this kind of therapy. The hyperbaric chamber has helped, but it is a huge time commitment. For two hours a day, I lie in a glass tube and watch a movie. I also use a molecular enhancer, which is like a battery charger for your body, and an Alter G Trainer, which is a treadmill that puts you in a vacuum environment. It removes gravity and allows you to run or walk at a percentage of your body weight. No one likes to be injured, but this isn't a bad way to do it." — A.R.
When 10-time AMA motocross champion Ricky Carmichael announced he was trading in his dirtbike for a stock car, most folks (including us) were skeptical, wondering if he would have the same fire on four wheels. Oh, there was fire, all right. But since bashing his No. 4 Monster Energy ride into the wall at one of his first outings, Carmichael's made significant progress with top-five finishes in NASCAR's East Series as a member of Ken Schrader Racing. Word in the pits is Carmichael is doing well enough to earn a NASCAR Truck Series ride from Kevin Harvick—the guy who gave RC his first taste of a superspeedway last month—next spring. —Chris Palmer
ANOTHER PERSON FOR CHANGE
This year's been good to vert skater Pierre Luc Gagnon. The Montreal native pocketed the biggest check in skateboard history at the Maloof Money Cup, snagged X Games gold and locked up the Dew Tour overall vert title in October. We caught up with PLG this weekend, while he relaxed in his Maloof-upgraded two-story suite overlooking the pool at The Palms in Las Vegas and coming down from his election-day high. — C.P.
MAG.COM: Any thoughts on that election?
PLG: I'm super hyped that Obama won. He says he wants to make a lot of changes and he looks like the right fit for the job.
What's the most important promise he made?
He says he wants insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions. It's everyone's right to affordable healthcare. After watching all those Michael Moore movies it's so depressing and unfair that so many people can't afford coverage. In Canada everyone has healthcare because the government provides it.
It's gotta be a nightmare for action sports stars to get healthcare.
If you're a skateboarder it's really hard to get coverage. The insurance companies say that we're too prone to injuries. I've heard of skaters who go to the hospital with an injury who say they fell down the stairs because they don't want their policy to get cancelled. One time Brian Deegan broke his leg and his insurance company denied his claim because they saw him crash on TV. But I'm pumped right now because of Obama. It's good to feel excited about something.
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