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Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk talks about new sports at Tokyo Olympics

Among the new sports that will take the Olympic stage this year are skateboarding, surfing and sport climbing. "Getting skateboarding organized is kind of an oxymoron," Tony Hawk said.

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Among the new sports that will take the Olympic stage this year are skateboarding, surfing and sport climbing.

Those sports are the subject of a new YouTube original documentary called "World Debut," which features skateboarding star Tony Hawk.

Hawk and sports commentator Selema Masekela talked to sister station KCRA about the rise in popularity of the sports.

Q: Why did it take so long to get these new sports added to the Olympic Games?

Hawk: "It’s a long, painful process to get a new sport into the Olympics. Also, it's a lack of organization on the sports themselves. Getting skateboarding organized is kind of an oxymoron, and trying to get international events happening and for people to agree on how to move forward was tricky, but in the last 10 years it started happening very quickly and the IOC took notice.”

Q: How is the "World Debut" documentary helping to get the word out about the journey to bring new sports to the Olympics?

Masekela: "It's a look at how the process was behind the scenes to make this a reality. Speaking to a lot of what Tony was talking about, these are individual sports that are not necessarily built from an infrastructure for dovetailing with the International Olympic Committee. And so getting a consensus amongst these individual sports that it's a good idea for them to participate in the Olympics when, really, that's never been the goal of any of these cultures, and then seeing what the journey has looked like the last 20 years; how unlikely it was at a certain point that we would even be having this conversation we are having today."

Q: Tony, as a maverick and superstar in the sport of skateboarding, how exciting is it to see the sport finally featured in the Olympics?

Hawk: "The journey for me has been wild and mostly unlikely. I never imagined getting to do this for a living ever growing up because it was largely considered not a sport or not considered something parents wanted their kids doing. So the idea that I ever got to make it a career was amazing. And as it started to grow even more, and getting accepted into the Olympics, it's just been fun to watch it as a fan as well.

So the idea that I get to be there in person – I'll get to be in Tokyo – for us that's probably the golden moment. We get to be there to see the first unveiling."

Pro-skater Tony Hawk  on the IMDb Series “Special Skills” in Los Angeles, California.
Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb
Pro-skater Tony Hawk on the IMDb Series “Special Skills” in Los Angeles, California.

Q: Tony, do your kids think you’re as cool as we think?

Hawk: "Haha, I don’t think so, based on that question. I mean, I hope they think I'm fun. I try to make cool opportunities for them, but at some point… I mean my daughter is off doing something because I'm doing this. So, I’m busy. I think they see me as being very busy, especially as of late. And I try to make as much time for them as possible."

Watch the video above to learn more about this story.