By Barbara Klein
Tony Hawk does not compete in skateboard competitions anymore. He retired from that part of his life ten years ago, at the age of thirty-one. But he still skates and he still works in the industry.
He is involved in a skateboard company called Birdhouse and a company called Hawk Clothing that makes clothing for skateboarders. He also created a popular video game series. In two thousand, Tony Hawk wrote a book about his life called "Hawk: Occupation: Skateboarder."
Two years later, he established his charity, the Tony Hawk Foundation. He says it reaches young people who might feel the way he did as a child.
TONY HAWK: "They don't find their place in the traditional team sports or ball sports and they're looking for something else. And, skateboarding, I think, is much more available to them and a lot of kids really enjoy that it's different."
The foundation has given away almost three million dollars since two thousand two. It has helped build more than four hundred skate parks across the United States. Tony Hawk says young skateboarders take part in designing and building the parks.
TONY HAWK: "And I feel like that's the real accomplishment for them, is that they saw it through. They cut through all the red tape and they finally made it happen. And there it is. There is literally concrete evidence of their work."
Tony Hawk says skateboarding was once a sport on the edge of society. Now, he says it is much more accepted. And he says skateboarding is giving young people some healthy competition in the inner cities of the United States.