Born in San Clemente, CA, Sheckler - nicknamed "Shecky" by friends and family - began rolling around on his father's old skateboard when he was just 18 months old. At six years of age, he began doing tricks at the skate park built in his family's backyard, including one he invented called the "Shecklair," which involved an indy kick flip flyout. Tony Hawk, considered the godfather of skateboarding, mentored Sheckler soon after the budding athlete joined the California Amateur Skateboarding League. Winning state championships with the CASL led Sheckler to his first endorsement deal with eyewear company Arnette, who was also a sponsor of Hawk's. Sheckler soon turned pro and at just 13 years old, he became the youngest skater in history to win the Slam City Jam in Vancouver. The young athlete mastered the four major elements crucial to the sport: speed, control, fluidity and fearlessness. In 2003, Sheckler followed up his record-breaking Slam City Jam win with top honors at the X Games, Gravity Games and Vans Triple Crown. Two years later, Sheckler was named Athlete of the Year at Dew Action Sports Tour.Judges and extreme sports fans were impressed by Sheckler's ability to defy gravity and take risks every time he was on his skateboard. But behind the athlete was a normal teenager coping with his family life, dating, and the price of fame. MTV jumped on the opportunity to turn Sheckler into a mainstream star, giving him his own reality series, "Life of Ryan" (MTV, 2007-), which showed the young man behind the award-winning athlete. Filmed mostly in his San Clemente home, cameras followed Sheckler's every step as he navigated the triumphs and tragedies of his life - from dealing with the divorce of his parents, to mentoring his younger brothers Shane and Kane, to his love life. The MTV audience could not get enough of Sheckler's adolescent drama, leading the network to grant the series a solid three-season run.Sheckler's schedule remained hectic after his reality show was cancelled in 2009. He began touring with Journey's Backyard Barbecue that year as well as launched a clothing line called RS that sold at J.C. Penney stores. In addition to his trophies and other accolades, Sheckler was also one of the most endorsed athletes of his time. Various athletic, apparel and electronic companies, including Plan B skateboards, Volcom, Etnies, Red Bull, Silver Trucks, Bones, Ninja, Mob Grip, Oakley, Nixon, Kicker, CCS and Panasonic were eager sponsors.With a successful sports career under his belt, Sheckler spent several years transforming himself into an actor. Prior to his reality show success, he made a minor appearance in "Grind" (2003), a teen comedy about a young underdog skateboarder (Mike Vogel) trying to win a big skating competition, while after his show ended, he appeared in "Street Dreams" (2009), another skateboard-centric movie that focused on a long-shot boarder (Paul Rodriguez, Jr.) looking to make it in the big leagues. Even though Sheckler was making strides as an actor, fans still loved him as a sports figure, leading to a nomination for Choice Action Sports Male at the 2009 Teen Choice Awards.
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