Professional skateboarder Tony Hawk is one of the most well-known professional athletes over the last couple of decades. Hawk helped put the sport on the map as the face of professional skateboarding for much of his career and remains quite revelant into his retirement. However, Hawk has had his fair share of injuries over the years like many have endured through that craft. There was one instance where he nearly lost his life because of a highly questionable decision.
Tony Hawks’ pro career
Since stepping into the limelight in the early 1980s, Tony Hawk had a quick ascension to stardom in the professional skateboarding world.
He put together a 17-year career, where he won more than 70 skateboarding contest that is highlighted by earning gold medals at the 1995 and 1997 X Games. That also saw him land the first-ever televised 900, which is about two and a half turns in mid-air that was done in the 1999 X Games.
His success on the ramps helped earn a licensed video games series from Activision behind his name. All of that has helped make him one of the most popular professional skateboarders of all-time. Hawk has had tremendous success over his career, but it hasn’t come without injury as he has had his fair share of rough situations and trips to the hospital. There is one that nearly cost him his life.
Tony Hawks’ near-death experience
Tony Hawk isn’t one to step away from challenges as he has taken on many risky situations where he came out the other end fine. However, there was one instance of things not going in his favor back in November 2003 as a failed attempt to go through a dangerous loop dubbed the “Loop of Death” during the shooting of an episode of MTV’s WildBoyz.
Tony Hawk was part of an episode where he skated with a chimpanzee alongside fellow pro skateboarder Bob Burnquist at his home. During that time, Hawk had a scary fall off Burnquist’s “Loop of Death” failed to make it through in a monkey suit and came crashing down suffering a fractured pelvis, fractured skull, and a broken thumb. It was a situation that Hawk described during an interview on In Depth With Graham Bensinger back in October 2016.
“The problem was that the starting ramp was too slow, and so I tried to overcompensate on the starting ramp and that sent me into the wrong position for the loop. I ended up shooting out through the loop flying through and landing on my hip and my head. I was knocked out and I realized that I shouldn’t have taken the loop for granted. That one was pretty ugly and life threatening.”
Hawk voiced that the injury took him a full year to regain the convince he had to do tricks that he could normally do with ease due to his concerns over falling in that manner yet again.
The injury came at the end of his professional career with his last participation in a contest coming in 2003. Beyond that, it was a frightful instance where things could have gone horribly wrong.
It was a situation that could have ended his life had his landed in another manner.
Hawk has experienced numerous injuries in his life, but there wasn’t anything that came to this situation. He has stayed active in his retirement, but has served in a greater role as an ambassador for the sport while he’s made numerous TV appearances.
He has remained one of the most-recognizable faces in sports and a significant influence to the many professional skateboarders that have come after him.