By Andres Pachon
A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.
Country: Rio de Janeiro BRA
Sponsors: TNT Energy Drink, Hurley, Oakley, Globe, Flip Skateboards, Independent Trucks, Ricta Wheels, Skateboard.tv
Robert Dean Silva Burnquist was born in Rio De Janeiro in October 1976, he started skating in his hometown at the age of 11 and became a pro 3 years later, showing the entire world he was a natural, he then moved to the US to take his career to the next level.
He is best known for his abilities in the Vert discipline and for the amazing performance he gave to the audience on the 2001 X-Games, a performance that brought commentator of the games that year, Tony Hawk, to the verge of emotion and excitement which led him to get the second highest score given in the history of the X games, a 98.
He is currently the skater with most medals in this event with 18 gold, 8 silver and 8 bronce for a total of 30 medals!
His signature trick, the one-footed smith grind which consists in getting the back truck grinding an edge or rail, while the front truck hangs over the near side of the object, leaving the edge of the deck to rub the lip/edge, he added his own twist and made this trick one of the most popular grind tricks and one that has earned him many competition wins through the years. He has also had the honor to be a playable character in almost all of the Tony Hawk video game franchises out there!
The Bob Burnquist Institute
He is not only an amazing skateboarder but also a person that cares. With current world events and the coronavirus pandemic, Bob is aware that people, especially kids, don't have the ability to practice and learn and he decided to close the doors to his well known restaurant in Rio to open the doors of his institute.
Bob said this about the event: "Solidarity has always existed and now much more. In the midst of chaos, doors close and another opens. BBI is born, with a holistic vision to connect social actions, empower them and bring the message to the kids that they can do what what they dream of.
The BBI has donated basic “virtual food” baskets to 725 socially vulnerable families, in partnership with the BV bank.
Each family receives R $ 300 - between the months of April, May and June - in a food card, which also benefits the local businesses in which the card is used to purchase the groceries. The projects supported by the partnership between BBI and the BV are present in the main and most in need cities of Brazil. He also highlights the job of the professionals fighting the virus all over the world going through and thanking them for taking their time and knowledge into this very difficult situation we are all in. Bob states that society has given a lot of value to athletes and artists, and states that we need to somehow change that perception, although both athletes and artists are necessary, the most important people in the world right now are those who are trained to save a life and provide us with more than entertainment.
Bob also advised people to respect security and isolation measures as a way to take care of ourselves and also respect those who are on the front line fighting coronavirus.
Eco Friendly Skateboarding
The institute also focuses on aiding schools in Brazil and provides info regarding eco friendly agriculture and gardening and he is also the founder of the Environmental Action Sports which supports and shares the ecological consciousness among skaters and surfers.
Bob grew up eating fresh, local, organic foods — and it’s a passion he’s carried through his adult life. He even had a vegetarian restaurant in Encinitas, Calif., with his family which ran for several years.
Burnquist has also worked with green corporate sponsors like Stonyfield Farm and Sambazon, a company specializing in energy drinks made from the antioxidant-rich Brazilian fruit acai and has been a major advocate for sustainable action-sports events, urging X Games officials to use Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood on their ramps and provide healthy food choices from sponsors like Whole Foods.
All and all, this guy is fully committed to bring an eco friendly face to skateboarding and it shows by all of the work he has been doing in this field for his entire career, he is also aware of the impact people like him and other skateboarder have among very influenciable youth “As a kid, I remember looking up to professional skateboarders — what they did was cool, to me,” he says. “If the guy was like a punk rocker, I wanted to be a punk rocker.” He strongly believes that this is not the image skateboarders need to portray to young fans anymore, and instead, not only skateboarders but all public figures that have influence among the young crowds should be spreading awareness on a healthy lifestyle and care for the environment!
There you have it my dudes and dudettes, Bob its a clear example of what people with influence SHOULD be doing for society which is something you can also figure out and do in your community! Keep this in mind and think to yourself about the next thing you could be doing for those around you, gather your skate crew and change the world!