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X Games honors Vano, Hawk

Jared Green
Donna Vano of Meyers leans on the extravagant XGames plaque she recently received in Los Angeles for contributions to the extreme sport competition over the past 10 years.
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If one had to come up with one name associated with the X Games, it would probably be Tony Hawk. For those in the know, however, Donna Vano wouldn’t be too far down the list.

Meyers resident Vano was given an award for 10 years of service to the X Games last month in Los Angeles, one of 24 such honors awarded. She received the plaque along with Hawk, who was at the games as an announcer.

“We were just finishing up the women’s vert contest and I didn’t have any idea,” Vano said. “Suddenly, they called me and Tony over and gave us this award.”

The presentation took place where both Hawk and Vano feel most comfortable, at the bottom of a halfpipe.

“It was pretty sweet,” Vano said. “Being given the award with Tony Hawk, there was a ton of media there. I felt like a star.”

Vano, 51, was a competitor in inline vertical at the first two X Games and did a skateboard demo at the third. Since then she has served as a sports and competition coordinator for skateboarding at the summer games and snowboarding during the winter.

Vano continues to compete in snowboarding and she won her age group at the United States of America Snowboard Association national championships at Angel Fire, N.M., last winter by sweeping all five events.

Vano and her husband, Alan, serve as series directors for the South Shore region of the United States of America Snowboard Association. She said the X Games award proves her mettle as an organizer.

“I think this will speak to a lot of parents as far as my credibility as a professional event organizer,” she said. “It should speak volumes to parents in our community.”


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