(Aug. 21, 2013) -- Meet UTSA student and skateboarding enthusiast Will Flores. He's been riding a board ever since he was five years old.
Earlier this month, nearly 14 years after he received his first skateboard, Will was invited by Red Bull to compete in the 2013 Summer X Games in Los Angeles, Calif.
Flores attended the X Games as one of six Red Bull Phenom Street Skateboarding finalists. Earlier this year, Red Bull put out a call for amateur street skaters between ages 15 and 19 to submit 60-second videos of themselves street-skating. Flores and his fellow finalists were personally invited by a professional skateboarder to compete in the X Games based on their submissions.
"It was an amazing experience meeting skateboarders from around the world who were just like me as well as the pros that I grew up watching on TV," said the 19-year-old UTSA marketing major.
The X Games competition that Flores took part in tested him and his fellow amateur skateboarders on their street-skating abilities. The competitors took turns doing 45-second runs on a set course over an 18-minute time period. According to Flores, scoring was based on consistency rather than the difficulty of their tricks. Ultimately, Flores skated away with a fifth-place finish in his first professional skating competition.
At the moment, Flores isn't quite sure if he'll pursue a professional career in the sport. He said he's still considering several options for his future.
"Professional skateboarding is a whole different world compared to skating for fun," said Flores. "They say that hobbies aren't as fun anymore when they become a job, but in the long run, it would be amazing to be able to say that I make a living doing what I honestly love. For now, I'm just going to keep skating hard and see where that takes me."
Regardless of whether he decides to try his hand at skating professionally again, he knows that skateboarding will always be a major part of his life.
"Skateboarding is the freedom to do whatever you choose, free of strict rules and constant competition," said Flores. "It's blessed me with friends, experiences, great memories, a unique mentality and so much more. I could go on and on trying to describe what it feels like to land a 360 flip, bomb a hill or grind a rail, but it's something that has to be experienced to be truly appreciated. Hopefully you'll catch the love, just like I did."
Do you know someone in the UTSA community competing in an extreme sport? Email us at email@example.com and we will consider your submission for our next installment of Meet a Roadrunner.
The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.