Al Roker — skateboarding legend?
Well, not quite, but the TODAY weatherman did get some help from skateboarding star Jagger Eaton Tuesday when Eaton stopped by the plaza to talk about his bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
Eaton, who won his medal in the men’s street competition, lent his expertise when Al put on a helmet and got on a skateboard. Eaton grabbed his hands and told him to put his front foot on the front of the board and stand while he helped Al roll along.
“That’s a good start,” Eaton, 20, said. “We did it.”
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This year marked the first time skateboarding has been an Olympic event, and Eaton’s performance certainly caught some people’s attention, including skateboarding legend Tony Hawk, who sent a video message to Eaton after being on hand to watch him compete in Tokyo.
“Hey, Jagger, it’s Tony. I just want to say congratulations,” he said. “It was awesome to see that in person. Your performance was stellar and get ready for greatness. Have fun. See ya.”
“Wow. That’s epic,” Eaton said after watching it. “I need that video.”
Eaton may have a way to go before he has the résumé of Hawk, but he is certainly on the path, so a couple of kids who were at the TODAY plaza watching him asked how he got to an Olympic level and what motivated him.
“Skateboarding is something that always teaches you every time you fall you got to get back up,” he said.
“And I’ve always had such a deep love for skateboarding and also was very competitive as a kid that it was all really natural. I wasn’t always at this Olympic level and the love for it kind of drove the passion to get there.”
Eaton, who said he’s “cherishing every moment” in the wake of his performance in Tokyo, also thanked his family for helping him get to where he is. His father built a skate park for him and he noted his parents did what they could to support his interest in skateboarding.
“If it wasn’t for my family, I wouldn’t be anywhere,” he said.