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Ahead of the upcoming World Skate qualifiers for the Paris 2024 Olympics we caught up with one of Skateboarding’s most successful competitors, Andy Macdonald. Andy is one of the sport’s most decorated athletes and holds the record for the most medals ever won in the X Games in vertical skateboarding! Born in Massachusetts but now living in San Diego, Macdonald qualifies to compete for Great Britain through his Luton-born father and, having just turned fifty, he hopes to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics next year!
EDGEsport caught up with Andy to chat all things skateboarding, Olympics and Ice cream!
WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY OF SKATEBOARDING?
“My earliest memory of skating is of my brother and I pulling each other around the streets of Boston behind our bikes, pretending we were waterskiing on a 1970’s style plastic GT skateboard. It was probably 1979. It wasn’t until 1985 that I first rode a “modern” skateboard with a plywood deck and urethane wheels on the basketball court one day. That’s when I got hooked.”
HOW DO YOU TRAIN FOR SKATEBOARDING EVENTS LIKE THE WORLD SKATE COMPETITIONS COMING UP?
“Since I joined the British National Team a year ago, I’ve been concentrating on smaller bowls like those that feature on the World Skate Tour. Prior to that, I’d been skating 14’ ramps or bigger almost exclusively for about ten years.”
HOW MUCH WOULD IT MEAN FOR YOU TO GO TO THE OLYMPICS?
“I can’t say it’s always been a dream of mine because when I grew up skating, it wasn’t even on the radar. But I have been involved in pushing skateboarding in the direction of the Olympics for a long time now. I feel like it would be a cool cap to a long career to have that experience.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE GROWTH OF THE SPORT, AND DO YOU EVER WONDER IF YOUR CAREER WOULD HAVE BEEN DIFFERENT HAD YOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT THE YOUNGSTERS HAVE NOW?
“The sport as a whole continues to grow, but I consider myself lucky to have been a “vert pro” during the prime years of the XGames and Dew Tour televised competitions. In a lot of ways, we had more opportunities during that time than a lot of up-and-coming skaters have now.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE TALENT COMING THROUGH THE RANKS TODAY?
“Skateboarding is more accessible now than it has ever been, and especially now that it’s become an Olympic sport, parents are encouraging their kids to pick it up at a younger age. That combination will foster talent faster than we’ve ever seen in the sport. It’s already really apparent on the women’s side of skating.”
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ANY YOUNG SKATEBOARDERS OUT THERE?
“Skate because you love to do it. Competition, sponsorship, and travel will come when you’re enjoying your skating.”
WHO IS YOUR SKATEBOARDING INSPIRATION NOW, AND GROWING UP?
“My brother is the most exciting skater to watch on a ramp. Tony Hawk has always been an inspiration as far as tricks and his overall approach to being a professional skateboarder.”
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE TRICK?
HOW DO YOU RELAX AFTER A BIG COMPETITION?
“If I win, treat everyone to ice cream!”