Supporters gather at Payne Park for Jake Ilardi’s Olympic watch party
SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) -Fans of skateboarding Olympian Jake Ilardi gathered at the Payne Park grass amphitheater to watch the Sarasota County native debut in Olympic Skateboarding.
Ilardi’s former teacher Maria Gianoplus said she remembers Jake and his twin brother Nate as the model gentleman
“They were so well behaved and so well mannered and they are still gentleman to this day they are so sweet,” said Gianoplus.
Other supporters including the spokesperson for the Compound Board Shop Benny Ray said he is excited to see the progress Jake has made coming from a small tight-knit community.
“Seeing our very own grow into this sport beyond most other individuals is utterly amazing,” said Ray.
Which also paves the way for young and upcoming skateboarders like Scamus McCollum.
“For a long time skateboarding was always looked like an outcast thing never as an actual sport and to see it become an Olympic sport is awesome,” said McCollum.
McCollum said he’s only been on the board for four years, but he said it was special seeing Jake give back to his community.
“To see Jake stay humble and keep taking care of what he grew up on and what so many kids are growing up on is special,” said McCollum.
The humbleness that has come from Jake’s grandmother and biggest supporter, she said she’s proud of what he’s doing for the community.
“The Olympics isn’t the end he’ll go one and do whatever he needs to,” said Jake’s grandmother Paulette Moulton.
As for McCollum seeing someone from his backyard make it to the big stage gives him the confidence to make it there someday.
“It makes us feel like we have a shot to get to this point too,” said McCollum.
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