POLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – On his 10th birthday, Gabe Vigliotti got a skateboard. Three years later, he’s nationally ranked and skating across the country. But you may know him by a different name.
“I went to this camp and all the kids would call me ‘Minnow,’ like kind of to pick on me because I was small,” he said “Then it just became my nickname.”
Minnow practices about three hours a day at home but he can easily spend all day at the skate park, working on new tricks that he said take him out of his comfort zone.
“Well, compared to a lot of kids my age who are skating up in Florida or California, I can do a lot more flip tricks,” Minnow said. “Tre flips, hard flips — I’m a lot better at those than most of the kids.”
His talent has already landed him two national sponsors. Bones Bearings and Monster Energy keep him stocked with equipment, and will even send him checks when he wins a competition.
“I go in saying I’m not going to win, but I do my best,” Minnow said. “I feel like it helps me to calm myself down because I’m not like, ‘I have to win.’ You know, I just chill out and do my best. But once it’s my run, the park will be so crowded, the three minutes I get to myself, I skate as good as I can because I have the park completely to myself.”
Minnow has traveled to 19 different states over the last two-and-a-half years and has more than a dozen first place finishes.
“When I do win and I get my awards, I’m not like, ‘Oh my God, I won.’ I’m kind of just, ‘OK, I did it. I got some new shoes or something. Now I got to do the next one.'”