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TOKYO (Reuters) - Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk tested out the new Olympic skate park in Tokyo's waterfront, calling the sport's adoption into the Games "surreal".
Hawk, now 53 and father of four, said the Olympics would further help grow skateboarding's profile and expose the sport to audiences that are new to it or refused to embrace it in the past.
"As a kid that was mostly lambasted for my interest in skateboarding, I never imagined it would be part of the Olympic Games," Hawk wrote below an Instagram video he posted shredding the new bowl at the Tokyo Olympic venue.
Olympic medal hopefuls Nyjah Huston from the United States and Yuto Horigome from Japan both responded enthusiastically, with Huston saying "Hell ya Tony" and the Tokyo native thanking him in Japanese.
The two are set to compete in the inaugural street skateboarding competition on Sunday.
More than any other individual skateboarder, Hawk helped usher in the counter-culture activity into the mainstream. As well as being the first to land a 900 (2-1/2 revolution aerial spin), many millennials were first introduced to skateboarding through Hawk's popular Pro Skater video game.
(Reporting by Mari Saito; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)