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03:16

Sao Paulo's own Tony Hawk swaps his prosthetic legs for a profession

Brazil, Sao Paulo
January 21, 2020 at 11:57 GMT +00:00 · Published

Vinicius Sardi has always defied the odds. Turning his passion into a profession three years ago has led to him being crowned an X-Games champion. And that's despite being born with a congenital malformation which forced him to have his legs amputated, as shown in footage filmed in Sao Paulo on Monday.

"I grew up with lots of difficulties accepting my disability. I was always a shy kid, was always ashamed, had trouble talking to others about my condition and spent lots of time like that," he explained.

The 23-year-old took up skateboarding seven years ago and with it his life was changed. It helped him overcome his insecurities as well as meeting friends for life in the park.

"When I was 16 I bought my first skateboard and tried doing it, I tried first with the prosthetics until they broke and I had no money to buy new ones," he explained. "I got over all the shaming I had and all the barriers and was for the first time in front of people skating without my prosthetic legs, for me it was the moment I broke the biggest taboo in my life."

Sardi's last major professional achievement was winning a gold medal in the X Games Adaptive Skateboard Park event in August 2019, his trip to Minneapolis marking his first time in the US. As he takes on his competition with an impressive collection of hand flips, he also takes on a a new responsibility as a role model for people trying to overcome their disabilities.

Adaptive skateboarding is on the rise as extreme sports take on more and more limelight, making athletes and organisers reflect on inclusion and accessibility for people with physical disabilities wanting to take up the sport and their passion.

03:16
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Description

Vinicius Sardi has always defied the odds. Turning his passion into a profession three years ago has led to him being crowned an X-Games champion. And that's despite being born with a congenital malformation which forced him to have his legs amputated, as shown in footage filmed in Sao Paulo on Monday.

"I grew up with lots of difficulties accepting my disability. I was always a shy kid, was always ashamed, had trouble talking to others about my condition and spent lots of time like that," he explained.

The 23-year-old took up skateboarding seven years ago and with it his life was changed. It helped him overcome his insecurities as well as meeting friends for life in the park.

"When I was 16 I bought my first skateboard and tried doing it, I tried first with the prosthetics until they broke and I had no money to buy new ones," he explained. "I got over all the shaming I had and all the barriers and was for the first time in front of people skating without my prosthetic legs, for me it was the moment I broke the biggest taboo in my life."

Sardi's last major professional achievement was winning a gold medal in the X Games Adaptive Skateboard Park event in August 2019, his trip to Minneapolis marking his first time in the US. As he takes on his competition with an impressive collection of hand flips, he also takes on a a new responsibility as a role model for people trying to overcome their disabilities.

Adaptive skateboarding is on the rise as extreme sports take on more and more limelight, making athletes and organisers reflect on inclusion and accessibility for people with physical disabilities wanting to take up the sport and their passion.

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