Suncoast Skateboarder scores big across the globe

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SARASOTA- One Suncoast resident is skating his way across the globe and scored some gold medals in the process.

It was a jaw–dropping win for 21 year old Jake Illardi in Munich, Germany.

“I never thought it would be like this,” he said.

Osprey’s very own, took the gold last month in Red Bull’s International Roller Coaster Contest. It’s an attitude he’s had since first picking up a board.

“Skateboarding means everything to me because I’ve literally been doing it since four years old. My grandmother bought me and my twin brother skateboards for our birthday and it’s the only thing I want to do,” he said.

It all started at Sarasota’s Payne Park, where Jake said he first started skating at just 8-years-old.

Now, he’s traveling around the globe, from Montreal to China to Prague, where he scored the rank of 14th in the world by The Boardr.

He said he owes his success to his support system.

“My family, my brother, and my grandmother has always been since day one. They’ve always been pushing me,” he said.

And his mentor, Tim Storck, who has celebrated several of Jake’s wins from Sarasota.

“He’s done it basically on his own and  his work ethic is great and it was like watching one of my own kids win something,” Storck said.

Jake said Storck is like a second father figure to him.

“He sponsored me and my brother, gave us boards, wheels, bearings, and help with our contest entries. If I went out of state, he would help with plane tickets,” he said.

Illardi isn’t stopping anytime soon, recently scoring a win in China, pre-qualifying for the 2020 Olympics.

Jake recently moved to Los Angeles, where he will be working on video projects. In August, he’s taking on another contest in Vigo, Spain.

 

 

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Jennifer Kveglis
Jennifer joined SNN in July of 2017. Born and raised in Mount Olive, New Jersey, she found her love for media as a lead anchor for her high school’s morning television program. She graduated from Castle High School in Newburgh, Indiana and extended her studies at the University of Tampa where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Film and Media Arts. In college she interned for FOX 13 and City of Tampa Television. Her future plans are to utilize her film-making skills to provide a unique rendition of storytelling. Her love for the sunshine, beach and local area made it an easy decision to stay in SWFL after graduation. In her free time, Jennifer can be found at the gym or exploring vegan restaurants. She loves to travel and expose herself to new environments. She is excited to embrace a brand new city while making introductions with the local community. She owes her successes to her supportive family, friends, and mentors.