Q&A With Skateboarder Jake Ilardi

Todays News

Photo courtesy of USA Skateboarding

It’s triumphant enough to have one local—formerly, or currently—go to the Olympics to represent Team USA. But to have four? Four outstanding athletes that hold roots to the (941) that are heading to Tokyo to make their mark on history? Now that’s impressive, medal coming home or not. From Women’s Swimming and Women’s Air Rifle to Men’s Rowing and Men’s Street Skateboarding, we'll be celebrating the young talented squad of Sarasotans that have qualified in their respective sport and whom we await excitedly to watch on our televisions this weekend as the Olympics kick-off and air worldwide.

While you may have read/seen local news stories of their victories, we're rolling out daily personal, candid Q&A style interviews—based on the famous Proust Questionnaire. Before putting on your red, white and blue outfits to cheer them on through the screen, get to know each of the athletes beyond their sport and what they're most looking forward to competing in the Games. Queue the flame. 

Jakob (Jake) Ilardi 

Age: 24

Hometown: Osprey

Current City: Sarasota

Competing Olympics Sport: Men’s Street Skateboarding 

Beginnings: Started at age four at Grannie’s house; learned at home and Payne Skatepark 

Current Titles: Ranked sixth in the world, and second in the United States.

Sponsorship: Blind Skateboards, Rockstar Energy Drink, Bones Swiss Bearings, Bones Wheels, Mob Griptape

What are you most excited about going to the Olympics/representing Team USA? I’m excited to hopefully inspire more kids to start skating! 

Your favorite motto . . . 'Never Give Up' 

Your guilty pleasure . . . The Tonight Dough ice cream 

Your last supper would include . . . A plate of grandma’s cooking 

What was the funniest thing you remember doing as a kid? Building my own D.I.Y. ramps and skating them! 

Would you rather have a rewind button or a pause button in your life? A rewind button to get to relive things. 

If you had your own podcast, who would your first three guests be? Gaspar Ramirez, Tyler Hunger, and Eric Matias 

What is the scariest thing you have ever done? Went back to film the last trick in my Coastal Concrete video part.

Your favorite snacks of the moment are . . . White cheddar crunchy Cheetos, mixed fruit from Publix, and Ritz peanut butter crackers  

What song best describes your life right now? “Olympian” by ASAP Ferg 

If you could snap your fingers and appear somewhere else, where would you be? Barcelona!

Your greatest fear. . .  Fear itself 

If you could undo one invention in the world, what would it be? Nuclear bombs, because we don’t need to blow each other up… 

What do you consider the most underrated virtue? Patience 

What do you consider your greatest achievement thus far? I’d say my greatest achievement so far is living the life I’ve always dreamed of since I was a kid! 

What achievement/goal do you have set for yourself in the next 5 years? 10 years? I would love to have my own house with a skate park outback! But first, I have to get Grannie a house. 

On the plane, you’ll be. . .Listening to music.

What are you most excited to see or try whilst in Tokyo? I’m most excited just to see the competition unfold.  

What is your most memorable or cherished moment whilst competing? My most memorable moment was when I found out I was going to qualify for the United States Olympic Skateboarding Team and celebrating with friends, family and everyone from Compound Boardshop! 

Which sport in the Olympics are you most excited to go watch as a spectator? It’ll be cool to watch surfing for the first time in the Games!

If you weren’t an Olympian in your own sport, what other sport would you love to represent/compete in the Summer Olympics? I’m not that good at surfing but that would be cool to represent the USA Surf Team.

Where will your winning medal(s) hang when you get back? If I win a medal, I’m making a trophy room! 

Tune in on Saturday, July 24 at 8pm EDT to watch Jake Ilardi compete in Men's Street Qualification. 

Photo courtesy of USA Skateboarding

Full Olympics Skateboarding Schedule found here.

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