Tony Hawk: 'I was accused of disrespecting the White House when I skateboarded down a hallway'

I'm testing the upper end of how old is too old to be skateboarding I try to keep up, but the sport has evolved so much that a lot of the manoeuvres my son Riley is doing now were not even considered possible when I was his age. So when I enter a skate park to practise, I feel a pressure; people just stop what they're doing and expect me to put on a show.

I was accused of disrespecting the White House I was invited to a charity event there a couple of years ago and when I was walking past this long hallway, I took the opportunity to get on my board – which I always carry with me – and race down it. Some right-wing Republicans decided I was desecrating our landmark, but I was invited because I was a pro skater, so I don't know what they expected from me.

Being on 'The Simpsons' was one of the best moments of my life It's a pop-culture staple and to have been featured in an episode (it's the one where I end up inviting Bart to join me on my next tour) was such an honour. It gave me a lot of validation for what I've gone through and showed me I'd made it.

I'm too early an adopter of technology I'll buy stuff when it's brand new and when there's no proper support for it as I like to have the bragging rights. I recently brought a 3D video camera but there was no editing software – I need to learn to wait for version two.

World travel has allowed me to appreciate the opportunities I've had I went to Sierra Leone on behalf of [community development charity] Laureus's Right to Play project, and seeing the struggle of disadvantaged children just trying to get clean water made me realise that however you can help, you should.

Tony Hawk, 43, is a leading professional skateboarder and a member of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation ( laureus.com)

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