(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.
UTSA open up the 2016 football season under new coach Frank Wilson at home. The Roadrunners host the Alabama State Hornets. Kick off is set for 6 p.m.
District 8 Councilman Ron Nirenberg and State Sen. José Menéndez host a Cultural Conversations event at the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures to talk about issues of intolerance and ways to unify the community.
UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures
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Main Building Auditorium, MB 0.104, Main Campus
The UTSA International Conference on Aging inthe Americas seeks to address the important context in understanding how characteristics of physical, social and economic environments give rise to disparities in Latino health in older adults.
UTSA Downtown Campus, Durango Bldg. Southwest Room (DB 1.124)
UTSA Mexico Center director Dr. Harriett Romo and program coordinator Olivia Mogollon, along with U.S. and Mexican scholars discuss migration between Mexico and the U.S. during this panel presentation.
UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures
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.