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An interview with skater Andy MacDonald
I recently had the opportunity to interview the iconic Andy MacDonald. Known as Andy Mac to his fans, he has been an integral part of skateboarding's history for generations. We talked about his role in Airwalk's 25th Anniversary, skate history, his career and just some of what skateboarding fans can look forward to from him in the coming months.
Gonzalez: Will you be taking an active part in Airwalk's 25 Anniversary celebrations and if so, what will that part entail?
MacDonald: I've been taking part for the past 18 years! Yes, a crew came out to my house and I broke out a box of every signature shoe I ever created ('97-present). We talked on camera about the early days and got some trivia ready for the anniversary party. I'm kind of a skate nerd. Do you know who invented the Airwalk?
Gonzalez: I believe it was Tony Hawk, but you can't always believe what you read on the internet. Do you have any products or videos scheduled to drop in this summer?
MacDonald: I'm featured in a new skateboard board game called "Skateboard Madness." Super stoked to be giving kids another option in video games. It's a genuine family board game and you don't have to be an expert skater to do well. Also, shot some videos with RedVines and Sony that will hit my site around the time of the first Dew Tour stop in July, as well as a feature interview on AlliSports.com.
Gonzalez: In your opinion, how has the skateboarding scene changed since you first immersed yourself in it back in the 1980s?
MacDonald: When I first started skating, there were simply far fewer skaters in the world. If you saw someone with Airwalks on it was a dead give-a-way that they were a skater. It was much more of a counterculture, underground scene. Today skateboarding is much more accepted and mainstream than I would have ever imagined it would become. I think it's great how far we've come but I think there's still a long way to go. I'll keep fighting the good fight till there's a legit skateboard park next to every baseball field across the country. It only makes sense, being there are more skaters than baseball players in the US today.
Gonzalez: Do you consider those changes beneficial or harmful to the skateboarding scene overall?
MacDonald: To me it can only help. The bigger our sport gets, the more resources are put into it and the more access everyone will have to it. There will always be that 'core' niche that is out skating backyard pools and ditches, no matter how big mainstream skating gets.
Gonzalez: What was it like skateboarding in the White House in front of former President Bill Clinton and doing an Ollie on Jay Leno's desk?
MacDonald: I just skated around the halls of the White House to be able to say that I did. Also, it helped calm my nerves before I had to do a speech and introduce the president on live C-SPAN/CNN. Jumping on to Leno's desk was just playing into how cheesy the whole thing was from the start. I was jumping over cheerleaders later in the show, so why not?
Gonzalez: As an 8 time World Cup Skateboarding Champion and one of the most decorated, long time participants in the X Games, what is your advice to groms looking to make skateboarding their career?
MacDonald: Advice to kids is always the same: Go out and have fun skating. Do what you like. Don't get caught up in what tricks, clothes or brands are 'cool.' Just be yourself and the rest will come.
Gonzalez: Where do you see yourself and the skateboarding scene in five years?
MacDonald: I see skateboarding continuing to grow. Numbers are up across the board at places like Woodward Skate Camp. The average age of skaters keeps dropping as well. We'll get'em hooked young and then they're hooked for life. Ha, ha.
Gonzalez: What are your thoughts on the push to include skateboarding into the 2016 Olympics?
MacDonald: Skateboarding in the Olympics will happen one day and it'll be great. I'm on the board of directors for USA Skateboarding (skateboarding's governing body as it pertains to the Olympics).
Gonzalez: Who do you admire the most (living or dead) and why?
MacDonald: My man M.K. Gandhi because he had a self-discipline and self-sacrifice that was out of this world.
Gonzalez: If you had the chance to live your life over again, what one thing (if any) would you do differently and why?
MacDonald: I would have started skating earlier.
Gonzalez: When you look back on your life thus far, what accomplishments are you most proud of and why?
MacDonald: Stoked to have been the first to skate in the White House and be the only skater to introduce the President. Also, stoked to have started what has become the Big Air discipline in skateboarding.
Gonzalez: If you could only be remembered for one thing, what would you want that one thing to be?
MacDonald: I would want to be remembered as being someone that always did what he loved with complete disregard for what others thought about it.
Gonzalez: Is there anything else you would like to say to Yahoo! Sports readers?
MacDonald: Life is short. Skate faster. Stay Positive.
My children are skateboarders and I have a history of following the sport.
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