Olympic qualifying skater brings new addition to Payne Skate Park

Published: May. 9, 2021 at 11:03 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) -Payne Skate Park will soon be getting a new addition to the park with the help of a future Olympian. 24-year-old Jake Ilardi qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and the 2021 U.S National Skateboarding team.

Ilardi said Payne Park is his second home and he’s raised over $19,000 for a quarter-pipe to be installed, so he can train for the upcoming Olympic games. He said it’s not just for him, but also the next generation of upcoming skaters.

“It helps me train but it also gives the kids of Sarasota something to skate on,” said Ilardi.

ABC7 spoke with local skaters and they expressed feelings of being excited as they will soon be bringing something new to the park that is of quality.

Ilardi said it brings him joy to be able to give back to the park that helped him get his start.

" I owe everything that park, to be honest,” said Ilardi. “If it wasn’t for Payne Park I wouldn’t be here today, doing what I am doing you know.”

Concrete pouring will start in the park on Monday, and Ilardi said it should take one to two weeks to finish.

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