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WATCH: Tony Hawk takes skateboard run at Tokyo Olympics venue

WATCH: Tony Hawk takes skateboard run at Tokyo Olympics venue
Posted at 11:30 PM, Jul 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-22 00:58:12-04

Legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk is leaving his mark on the sport's Olympic debut -- without competing, of course. 

The 53-year-old Hawk, in Tokyo to serve as an NBC Olympics correspondent, dropped in to the park course at Ariake Urban Sports Park ahead of the start of competition. 

Hawk, a 12-time world champion, previously got in on Olympic action when he took part in the 1996 Olympic Closing Ceremony during an action sports performance. He became a household name with the launch of the "Tony Hawk Pro Skater" video game in 1999 (Danish skateboarder Rune Glifberg, who was featured in the first version of the game, is competing in Tokyo). 

Although he officially retired from competition in 2003, Hawk has remained an ambassador for the sport -- with 6.6 million Instagram followers -- and says he still skates every day. 

Skateboarding was approved for the Tokyo Olympics in 2016 as part of an initiative that allows host cities to promote sports that are popular within their nation. At the time, the sport was only approved for the Tokyo Games, but has since been added to the Paris 2024 Games, along with sport climbing and surfing.

In Tokyo, skateboarding competition begins with men's street on July 24 (Eastern Time), followed by women's street on July 25, women's park on Aug. 3 and men's park on Aug. 4. Click here to view the full NBCOlympics.com streaming schedule