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TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 25: Manny Santiago of Team Puerto Rico competes at the Skateboarding Men's Street Prelims on day two of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Urban Sports Park on July 25, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

The Tokyo Olympics are underway. For the first time ever, skateboarding is an Olympic event. And one of the competitors has a local connection.


Manny Santiago, who skated in the Men’s Street competition over the weekend, represents Puerto Rico; he was born in Cayey. But he was raised in Lowell, MA, where he was a member of the local Boys & Girls Club. When he was 14, the Roberto Clemente Skate Park was built near the Club. He started skating and he hasn’t stopped since.


Santiago didn’t medal in Men’s Street (Team USA member Jagger Eaton did; he took home the bronze), but he left it all on the course and can hold his head high. Check out the Men’s Street qualifying round below, then dig into Manny’s latest part for Thrasher Magazine.