When Hawaii Kai resident Hunter Long drops in at the X-Games in Austin this weekend, she won't only become the first female skateboarder from Hawaii to ever do so, she will be the contest's first skater from Hawaii, period.
"I'm just so excited to be at the X-Games as an athlete. It's an honor in itself," said Long. "It's pretty much the top tier of the sport that gets to go, so you pretty much know who the top players are in the sport."
For Long, a student at the University of Hawaii, the top players compete in Women's Skateboard Park, a flowing discipline where riders have 45 seconds to land as many tricks as possible without falling. It's the event's first running since the 2013 games, and Long knows her fellow skaters are coming prepared.
"There's some really tough competition at the X-Games this year. This is probably the best women's skateboarding that has ever existed, so I'm going to have to really step it up in order to win the X-Games."
Long has a one-in-12 chance at doing so, and she's been training hard for that opportunity. She knows medaling in the event would be more than just a personal achievement.
"That would just be so cool because it would put Hawaii on the map for skateboarding," said Long. "I feel like it would give more opportunities for people in Hawaii who actually want to pursue skateboarding as a career."
Of course, medaling would be one thing, but winning?
"That would just make me so happy, I wouldn't even know what to say, to be honest. I'm just so honored to be a part of it, and the thought of winning takes me to a place where I wouldn't even know what I would say."
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