Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Massachusetts, Manny Santiago has always been a skater’s skater.
The 35-year-old fell in love with the sport over two decades ago, picking up his first skateboard at 14. Brimming with positivity and an unbridled passion for mastering new tricks, Santiago went from learning an Ollie to being a sponsored within three years.
Santiago was only getting started.
It wasn’t long before he earned the nickname, “Manny Slays All,” due to his wild and reckless approach to skating. After losing a front tooth during a 2009 skating accident, he embraced the missing tooth as part of his trademark grin. Armed with an omnipresent smile and fun-loving personality, Santiago quickly became a fan-favorite as he climbed the ranks of professional skateboarding.
Over the years, he’s competed in top skate competitions around the globe, including Dew Tour, X Games and Street League. Beyond competition, the Puerto Rican skater has produced several popular skate videos, including his most recent video, “California,” which he filmed in 2020 at some of his favorite California skate spots.
In 2021, Santiago has shifted his focus across the Pacific. Skateboarding is set to make its Olympic debut in Tokyo this summer and Santiago is going for gold. Beyond the historic opportunity to elevate professional skating onto the global stage, Santiago can become the first male Gold Medalist in Puerto Rican history.
Our friends at Stomp Sessions recently caught up with Manny Santiago to learn more about his long road to the Olympics and how he’s preparing to compete in the historic contest. See part three of his exclusive interview below, and then check out part one and part two of his interview.
To learn your next skateboard trick from an Olympian, check out Manny’s Trick Tip Videos on Stomp.