Friday, September 6, 2013

Holy roller at skatepark

Christian Hosoi to perform in Hailey

Express Staff Writer

    Legendary professional skateboarder, ex-convict and pastor Christian Hosoi will attend a skating competition Saturday at the Hailey skatepark on Main Street.
    The freestyle and vertical competitions will begin at 10:30 a.m., and are open to all skaters ages 5 and up. Entry costs $10. Enrollment for the competition begins at the skatepark at 9 a.m.
    The competition is sponsored by the Assembly of God Church on Main Street in Hailey, as well as several other local church groups and businesses. The event has also garnered financial support from the Blaine County Drug Coalition.
    Prizes will be given away to the best skaters. Music will be provided by Las Vegas hip-hop artist Dusty Marshal.
    Hosoi will attend a book signing tonight, Sept. 6, at 7 p.m. at Modern Mercantile, 101 East Bullion St. in Hailey, hosted by Iconoclast Books.
    Hosoi was described by fellow professional skaters as a “rock star” skateboarder during the 1980s and 1990s, who after becoming famous succumbed to drug addiction and spent four years in prison for dealing methamphetamine.
    Today, Hosoi travels the world, skates and preaches about conversion to Christianity. He is an associate pastor of The Uprising ministry in Westminster, Calif.
    On Sunday morning, Hosoi will tell his life story at the Assembly of God Church at 10 a.m.
    The 2006 Documentary film “Rising Son, The Legend of Christian Hosoi,” narrated by Dennis Hopper, was an award winner at the Malibu Film Festival.  
     “It has been interesting for me trying to put the event together,” said Hailey resident Richard Calcagno, who has been working with the Wood River Assembly of God congregation to raise $7,500 to cover the cost of the event. “The stigma that goes with skateboarding is that you are a punk, a trouble-maker. The reputation with Christianity is that it is jammed down people’s throats, but that is not always the case. It is a free-will decision.”
    Calcagno’s 6-year-old son Luka skates at the Hailey skatepark.


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