NewsJagger Eaton

Jagger Eaton, Cory Juneau Helped Introduce The World To Olympic Skateboarding

by Karen Price

Jagger Eaton poses on the podium following the men's street finals at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on July 25, 2021 in Tokyo.

 

Jagger Eaton strolled onto the late-night television stage wearing a pinstriped suit and shiny black boots, and sporting a hairstyle that host David Spade described as a wide mohawk.
And no, this time the 20-year-old from Mesa, Arizona, who became the first American to win an Olympic medal in skateboarding didn’t have his AirPods in his ears.
“I just cherished the moments,” the bronze medalist in men’s street skateboarding told Spade, the guest host of “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” “It was so fun to be in Japan. Japan put on such an amazing contest and such an amazing event. Coming home and getting back to reality is a little different because reality as I know it is a little different now.”
Isn’t that the truth.
Eaton and Cory Juneau were two of the athletes that introduced many around the world to skateboarding when the sport made its Olympic debut at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Between the youth of the competitors, the camaraderie they showed and the incredible tricks they performed, it was a successful debut indeed. Viewers were fascinated, and both Eaton’s and Juneau’s medal-winning performances earned them a whole new slew of fans. 
A quick rundown of Eaton’s Instagram shows:

• A photo of him holding his medal with Kevin Hart and Snoop Dogg in the background
• Video of him throwing out the first pitch at an Arizona Diamondbacks game
• Photos and video of him in New York City for a “Today” show appearance as well as a helicopter ride over the Big Apple
He also posted video of him skating down the sidewalk with a pair of young fans (and giving them a moment they’ll always remember), writing, “These 2 rippers came out to see me on the @todayshow this morning and I couldn’t help myself but to skate a little with them!! Always beyond grateful for the support!!”

 

 



On “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” he talked about breaking his ankle in the semifinals of the last competition before the Olympics, and having to skate injured in order to make the team, as well as growing up in Arizona. His mom is Shelly Schaerer, a member of the U.S. national gymnastics team in the 1980s, and Geoff Eaton, and they ran a gymnastics school when he was young. After he and his brother started skateboarding, they built ramps anywhere they could find space at the facility, he said. That morphed into the Kids That Rip (KTR) skateboard school.

 

Cory Juneau competes during the men's park preliminaries at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on Aug. 5, 2021 in Tokyo.

 

One of the things about Eaton’s skateboarding that drew lots of attention on social media was the fact that he competed with AirPods. He told Spade that his playlist was “new rap and old country in a cocktail of good vibes.”
“I had to use something to kind of feed off the crowd,” Eaton said. “And there wasn’t a crowd there, which is really hard because I love a crowd, I love the hype. The music really helped me kind of fulfill that.”
Juneau, 22, won the bronze medal in men’s park skateboarding. The San Diego native’s friends call him “sleepy turtle” because he’s so laid back, and he told reporters after winning the bronze medal, “Everyone says I look relaxed when I’m skating and they say I look like I’m not trying. And I assure you I am.”
One of the more memorable moments of the skateboarding competition overall came during the men’s park final. While Juneau won bronze, he was elated for gold medalist Keegan Palmer of Australia. The two grew up skating together, and Juneau said the 18-year-old Palmer is like a little brother. After his winning run, Juneau embraced him with a big smile on his face, and that photo is front and center on his Instagram collection of highlights from Tokyo.
“Wow! The last week has been nothing short of surreal!” Juneau wrote. “I wanna say thank you to everyone. The support from my friends, family and sponsors has been so great and all the messages I’ve been getting have been so lovely! I’m trying to get back to everyone but the past few days have been crazy. hahah. Thanks again! This is unreal.”

 

 



Speaking from the “Today” show plaza, Eaton told the show’s hosts that the first two weeks since medaling have not given him a lot of rest. He also talked about how motivating it was to have Tony Hawk there at the Games, even during practice.


That’s when the hosts surprised him with a video message from the legend himself. 


“Your performance was stellar, and get ready for greatness. Have fun,” Hawk told him.


Eaton’s response?


“I need that video.”

 


Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic and Paralympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.
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