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Home » How Context Shapes Content: Rodney Mullen at TEDxUSC (Full Transcript)

How Context Shapes Content: Rodney Mullen at TEDxUSC (Full Transcript)

Rodney Mullen

Rodney Mullen – TRANSCRIPT


So, that’s what I’ve done with my life. Thank you.

As a kid, I grew up on a farm in Florida, and I did what most little kids do. I played a little baseball, did a few other things like that, but I always had the sense of being an outsider, and it wasn’t until I saw pictures in the magazines that a couple other guys skate, I thought, “Wow, that’s for me,” you know? Because there was no coach standing directly over you, and these guys, they were just being themselves. There was no opponent directly across from you. And I loved that sense, so I started skating when I was about 10 years old, in 1977, and when I did, I picked it up pretty quickly. In fact, here’s some footage from about 1984.

It wasn’t until ’79 I won my first amateur championship, and then, by ’81, I was 14, and I won my first world championship, which was amazing to me, and in a very real sense, that was the first real victory I had. Oh, watch this. This is a Casper slide, where the board’s upside down. Mental note on that one. And this one here? An ollie.

So, as she mentioned, that is overstated for sure, but that’s why they called me the godfather of modern street skating. Here’s some images of that. Now, I was about halfway through my pro career in, I would say, the mid-’80s Freestyle itself we developed all these flat ground tricks, as you saw, but there was evolving a new kind of skateboarding, where guys were taking it to the streets, and they were using that ollie, like I showed you. They were using it to get up onto stuff like bleachers and handrails and over stairwells and all kinds of cool stuff. So it was evolving upwards.

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