The idea of a 12-year-old competing in a professional sporting event seems ludicrous, but in Tom Schaar's case it's very real. The skateboarding phenom is the Summer X Games' youngest participant (Mitchie Brusco, 14, is No. 2), and that isn't his only claim to fame.
Schaar landed skateboarding's first 1060-degree spin on March 26. Anticipation has reached a fever pitch as fans wait to see what he will try next. The next logical choice is the 1260 (three-and-a-half full turns).
This speculation has legendary extreme sports athletes talking. Bob Burnquist had this to say in Keith Hamm's article on espn.com.
"Tom's a little giant and a spinning machine. Amazing. I look forward to learning a lot from him in the future. All eyes on Tom!"
That's coming from a guy who has won eight gold medals in his X Games career. He's one of five guys to ever land a 900. Schaar has gotten his attention, and he's only 12 years old. His entire athletic career is in front of him, and he's already being recognized by the top names in the sport.
I'd say that's a success in itself. Attempting the 1260, whether he lands it or not, is just gravy.
Schaar has reached that "boy wonder" status. Usually, a good skateboarder's a good skateboarder. If Schaar is doing these things at 12, you can bet he will be a solid skater for a very long time.
Being invited to the X Games at his age is a success in itself. It doesn't really matter how he finishes. He's already off to a great start. In Day 1 of competition, Schaar landed a 900 in Big Air competition. That alone gives him a memorable weekend.
Look at Beau Hossler in golf's U.S. Open. Granted, he finished tied for 29th place. He finished behind Jordan Spieth in the tournament's amateur ranks, but he was one of the weekend's biggest stories.
Regardless of Hossler's finish, you would have remembered him. It wasn't just his game. it was his game plus the fact that he's 17 years old.
The same will be said for Schaar. He's already achieved the unthinkable.
He could please the crowd by just attempting the trick. Even if he doesn't, avid X Games followers will know his name for years to come.