(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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we will consider your submission for our next installment of Meet a Roadrunner.
Robert Penn Warren said: “How do poems grow? They grow out of your life.” That is certainly true for Carmen Tafolla. An associate professor of practice with the UTSA College of Education and Human Development, Tafolla has authored more than 20 acclaimed books of poetry and prose, including "The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans." It won the Tom´s Rivera Children’s Book Award in 2009.
Tafolla is a San Antonio native who grew up on the West Side. Attending a private high school, she realized that the literature did not positively portray her community or the people who lived there. She determined to change that in her writing. In published works for both adults and children — more than 200 anthologies, magazines, journals, textbooks and readers in four languages — Tafolla reflects on the rich Mexican-American culture of San Antonio in which she grew up.
Did you know? Tafolla was San Antonio's first Poet Laureate, from 2012 to 2014, and currently serves as the Poet Laureate of Texas.
Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.
This annual symposium is an opportunity to discuss Texas higher education issues and trends with Texas higher education scholars, state and local government officials, students, and campus and local community members.
This cowboy-themed programming, offered in conjunction with Our Kids Magazine's Kidcation Week, gives families the opportunity to visit with cowboy docents, enjoy readings and visit activity tables.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.
Join President Ricardo Romo, The Spirit of San Antonio Marching Band, students, faculty and staff to light the monument at the Main Campus entrance at the stroke of midnight.
John Peace Boulevard Entrance, Main Campus
Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Bill Miller Plaza for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Bill Miller Plaza, Downtown Campus
Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Convocation Center lawn for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Convocation Center East Lawn, Main Campus
The UTSA Alumni Association hosts this annual gala honoring the Alumna of the Year, Alumnus of the Year and the Alumnus of the Year Lifetime Achievement award winners.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr.
Victor Cyrus, Jr will see his first book of poetry published this fall
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.
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