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ENCINITAS, Calif.- Daniel Cuervo loves skateboarding. So much so he moved from the Dominican Republic at 19-years-old to the United States to chase his dream of turning pro in the sport. Now at the age of twenty-six, Cuervo can proudly say he turned his dream into a reality.
"I had a lot of people close the doors," said Cuervo. " I can't even believe it myself that everything happened. All the people I used to watch on TV, all my heroes, now are my friends"
Before a friendship skateboarding legends like Tony Hawk bloomed, he struggled through additional obstacles in the States. Cuervo lived out of his old Volkswagen along the streets of Encinitas. He told his story in the Union-Tribune, and after reading the article, a Carlsbad family reached out to Cuervo and opened their home, helped him get an athletes visa, and got him back on his skateboard and in his own living situation. Proof, he says, to never quit on your dreams.
"You learn a lot about yourself," said Cuervo. "How to be humble. One thing I learned is no matter what situation your living you have to keep pushing for your dreams."
Those dreams for Cuervo include competing in the X-games and representing his country in the 2020 Olympics. In his free time he also teaches kids how to skateboard, and he says he aims to inspire the next generation coming up in skateboarding.
"I live to inspire the kids," said Cuervo. "The new generation coming up. That's the main reason I do what I do."