Victor Williams is proving to be a man of many talents.
By day, he’s a news reporter for WDIV-TV in Detroit, Michigan, but once the cameras stop rolling, you can often find him at the local skate park. Sometimes, he doesn’t even wait for the cameras to stop rolling before he starts shredding!
Victor got his first skateboard when he was about 8 years old, after begging his mother for weeks. Once he discovered the joys and freedom of riding his board, he spent all his free time perfecting his moves. Now that he’s an adult with a full time job he doesn’t get out as often as he’d like, but his passion for the sport has never faded.
“In one second, I might be on breaking news and you’ll see me in a suit, and then the next second, as soon as I’m getting off, I’m going to the bathroom to change clothes so I can head out the door and go to the park,” Victor explained.
Recently, Victor was sent him to cover an assignment that seemed custom-made for him: the opening of Chandler Skatepark in Detroit. During the live segment, Victor astonished viewers by delivering a good deal of his report while effortlessly riding a skateboard. He was even hardly out of breath as he demonstrated his fancy footwork!
As soon as his wheels came to a full stop the anchor woman exclaimed, “Victor, you are so cool! He’s so cool!”
The praise didn’t end there. Victor’s segment soon went viral, getting nationwide recognition from the guys at Sports Center, ESPN, and elsewhere. Skaters at the local park saw Victor as a perfect representative; he’s buttoned-up enough to be respectable, yet can still ride like a true boarder.
“I think it’s rad that we’ve got someone who can carry himself well on television and can still carry himself well on the board,” said one new fan. “A lot of people assume skateboarders are kind of these lazed out, burn out people, and this shows that we can be professional adults in the world, and successful individuals,” said another.
Perhaps the highest praise Victor has received so far came from the “godfather” of the sport, pro skateboarder Tony Hawk. Victor was able to meet Tony by video conference, and the legendary rider was eager to tell him how happy the TV segment had made him feel.
“I’ve been on plenty of news segments when the reporter wants to ‘learn how to skate,’ and so when I saw you standing there I was like, ‘Oh no, here we go,’ and then you dropped in and I was like, ‘Oh, he knows what’s up. He’s got it,'” Tony said, adding, “I could just tell that you have a strong history of skating and that you feel very comfortable.”
“I love that someone like you, who can sort of bridge that gap from people who might not know about skateboarding and might have a negative stigma about it, that they see you, and you’re killing it in another field, but at the same time you have this deep connection to skateboarding, and I feel like when people see that, they have a renewed respect for it, or a new respect for it,” Tony told him.
Victor is loving his viral fame and has been sharing more videos from his skateboarding life on social media. “These past few days have been overwhelming, yet amazing! Big Thanks you to everyone who has reached out with kind words. I’m so happy!” he wrote on Instagram. “People who I grew up admiring in both the skateboard and TV news world know my name. So stoked!”
What a cool skill to have! Victor is proving to be a versatile and entertaining reporter who appeals to so many viewers.
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