White Rock skateboarder Andy Anderson no doubt gained plenty of fans after his performance at the Tokyo Olympics this past summer – none more notable, perhaps, than legendary skater Tony Hawk.
Hawk, an icon in the skateboarding community and the most well-known skater of all-time – his eponymous Pro Skater video-game series has been popular since its first release in 1999 – was a guest this week on the Blocked Party podcast, where he had nothing but compliments for the Semiahmoo Peninsula skateboarder.
“He’s an awesome skater… he’s doing these tricks on ledges, and he does these impossibly hard combinations of tricks,” Hawk said of Anderson, during a conversation with podcast hosts John Cullen, a Semiahmoo Secondary grad, and Vancouver resident Stefan Heck.
Hawk was on the show – a comedy podcast about social media and the internet, among other things – to discuss, his experience in Japan at the beginning of the Summer Olympics, as well as his experience watching the men’s park competition from home, which is when the topic turned to Anderson.
Cullen asked Hawk for his thoughts on Anderson’s Olympic performance, and whether Hawk thought Anderson was shortchanged by the judges in not advancing to the event’s final round; at the time of the competition, many Olympic viewers expressed their displeasure with the fact that Anderson did not advance, despite being one of the most entertaining competitors in the field.
“It’s so subjective, it’s hard to say, but I thought he did well,” Hawk said.
“There’s a thing that happens at skate events where the judges will judge you against what they think you’re capable of. And so, when they see him skating in practice and they know he’s capable of these harder tricks, they’ll punish him for it (in competition). That’s not how it should be, but it happens.
“But the cool thing about seeing him was, at the end of his run, he was on top of the volcano (ramp) in the middle, and he was doing freestyle tricks. No other sport in the Olympics has someone goofing around, doing some old version of their sport, after their time is up.
“That just doesn’t happen – but that’s what you get from skateboarding.”
Hawk, 53, also said that Anderson, with his penchant for wild tricks, is the real-life embodiment of the playable characters in the Pro Skater games, noting that the 25-year-old is “THPS (Tony Hawk Pro Skater) as a real boy.”
Hawk paid Anderson the same compliment last June, in an interview with CBC, adding that he is impressed with Anderson’s ability to blend old-school tricks with newer ones.
Anderson qualified for the Olympics last spring, after a top-16 finish at an event in Des Moines, Iowa. The event was his final chance to make the Olympic cut.
Anderson turned pro in 2019, signing with famed skateboarding brand Powell-Peralta. The first Andy Anderson-branded skateboard deck that was made for sale by the company sold out in 12 hours.