Is Mark Rogowski going to pursue a sk8ting career?
It's highly doubtful that Mark Rogowski would, assuming he is paroled once he is eligible, resume a career in skateboarding. Aside from the fact that his personal and professional reputations are ruined, he was a vert skater, meaning his specialty was ramp skating. While ramp skating is still popular, professional skateboarders today must be able to mix vert skating with street skating (i.e., skating in which obstacles such as benches and stairs are present), which started becoming popular in the late 1980's. Rogowski was becoming washed-up and losing endorsement deals long before he went to prison because he was unable to adapt to the new trend of street skating; he just wasn't any good at it. Footage of Gator attempting street skating tricks from the documentary "Stoked: The Rise and Fall of Gator" clearly show that he was unable (most likely because he was unwilling, as the footage also seems to indicate) to learn street skating techniques.
For a moment, though, let's imagine that none of this was true - his reputation wasn't ruined and he had been able to adapt to street skating. The facts are that the man is now 43 years old. While age hasn't yet slowed down skaters such as Tony Hawk, Tony Hawk also has the benefits of not having been in prison for the last 17 years. As mentioned by Helen Stickler, the maker of "Stoked", in a New York Times article several years ago, when she met with Gator in prison she was shocked by just how frail he now looks. His hair is thinned, his teeth are chipped, and he no longer has the good looks he once had (let's face it, no fans want to go see, and no company wants to endorse, a skateboarder who isn't good looking. Be honest - how many ugly pro skateboarders are at the X-Games?). Prison has also, I'm sure, taken a toll on the condition of his fitness. While he might be able to get exercise here and there, he hasn't been able to skateboard, and he hasn't been able to exercise and train the way he used to. None of this, however, compares with the toll taken on his mind. He's sat in a prison cell every day, for most of the hours of the day, for almost two decades. He's had to think about what he's lost, where he went wrong, and what his life could have been if he'd just gotten help before his mental illness became too much for him to control. He's seen most of his contemporaries continue to be successful, have families, and have lives. He has very few friends, as he abandoned most of them when he became arrogant with his success (Rogowski himself admits this).
We may all be surprised if Gator gets paroled this year or next and comes out to resume his skateboarding career. But given everything, the chances of this are next to impossible.
OR, take a look at Jay Adams' career following Dogtown & Z-boys. He kinda became "that guy". maybe Mark can pull off the same thing.
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