Did you know the president of the Navajo Nation can skate?
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Navajo President Buu Nygren had a skate sesh with legendary skater Tony Hawk during last week’s grand opening of the Diné Skate Garden in Two Grey Hills, New Mexico.
All in all, Nygren wasn’t bad for a 36-year-old dude who probably hasn’t picked up a board in a while. In front of an audience of about 200 skaters, he and Hawk dropped in the bowl and Nygren even landed some shove-its, board slides, and 50-50s.
The park was built in part with help from Hawk’s foundation The Skatepark Project, which provides funding and guidance for building skateparks across the country.
While April 10’s grand opening was a joyous occasion, it marked the end of a multi-year project. Organizers began working on the project in early 2021 with the goal of bringing a skatepark to the remote community near the Chuska Mountains.
For the project, the community raised more than $125,000 through a crowdfunding platform from more than 2,000 donors, including Hawk and singer Jewel.
In an interview, community organizer Amy Denet Deal told NBC News that they wanted to give the remote communities in the area more opportunities for recreational activity.
“When I started working with this community and with these kids, I knew it was so important that they had some outdoor recreation venue,” she said. “There’s nothing else in this area. We’re in a very remote area of Navajo Nation right now.”
Although remote, the location of the park is central to a lot of other areas, giving patrons an easier time getting there. Navajo Nation covers more than 27,000 square miles and four states.