An east Oahu skateboarder sets her sights on the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games
By Kainoa Carlson
HAWAII KAI, (HawaiiNewsNow) - For 22-year-old Hunter Long, the Hawaii Kai skate-park is where it all started.
For over a decade, it has served as the training ground for one of skating's rising stars.
In 2016, she made history, by being the first athlete from Hawaii -- male or female -- to compete in the coveted X Games. Now, she's gearing up for an even larger stage.
"The Olympics will definitely be the biggest stage in skateboarding ever," Long said. "It just brings the entire value of skateboarding up."
Earlier this year, the International Olympic Committee announced it's plan to debut both street and park events in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games. Last month, Long came one step closer to becoming an Olympian.
In Shanghai, China, she finished 4th in the vert competition, one of the first ever Olympic sanctioned events for skateboarding. She was one of two women who represented Team USA. It was also the first time she skated internationally.
"Just an amazing experience," Long said. "Just going to China for the first time, and skating in such an historical event, it was amazing."
Now, Long has her eyes set on Tokyo in 2020.
Despite all of her earned success, Long is true to her humble island roots. She still comes to practice at the skate-park where her passion for the sport began, and surrounds herself with the people who have been there since the beginning.
"When I come home, I always look forward to hanging out with the 'uncles' at the skate-park," said Long. "They all try to help me, make me progress, and give me advice in general."
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