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Extreme Exposure: Five-year-old rides motocross while battling leukemia

Five-year-old Keegan McDade rides motocross while battling leukemia and Tony Hawk wants skateboarding in 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 

In this week's edition of Extreme Exposure—a weekly column featuring news and photography from the world of action and outdoor sports—Coco Ho saves her season with a win over the weekend.

Tony Hawk Wants Skateboarding in 2020 Olympics

Even though the 2016 Olympic Games have yet to start in Rio, on August 3rd, the International Olympic Committee will vote on whether to bring five sports into the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, including surfing, karate, sport climbing, baseball/softball and skateboarding. Unlike the winter games, the summer version hasn’t been inundated with the X Games generation of pursuits like snowboarding and freeskiing. But that could change if the vote brings in these alternative activities—and Tony Hawk said this week that he thinks the Games need an infusion of youth viewership, which skateboarding has in spades. "They [the Olympics] don't have that element,” Hawk said. “And if they are going to get any younger viewership, they need that. So I think that (skateboarding) could very well happen.” Statistics aren’t exact but some estimates show that in 2014, there were well over 3 million skateboarders in the U.S. between the ages of six and 17 and 6.5 million participants overall. Those viewer numbers, along with fans of climbing and surfing (the IOC reportedly hopes to bring in all of the sports or none) would certainly give the summer games a more youthful feel.

Five-year-old Rides Through Cancer Treatments

Sometimes, charging hard just helps ease the mind. And that seems to be the case with five-year-old Keegan McDade, who at three was diagnosed with leukemia. At the same time, his father, Mike, put his son on his first motorcycle. Since then, the younger McDade has raced motocross, despite having to undergo daily rounds of chemotherapy. His family—which lives just outside of Pittsburgh—has taken him to races as far away as Florida and North Carolina and says that these days, he doesn’t act sick: all of his hair which he lost during his initial treatments has grown back. Now he’s just taking medicine while doctors monitor his progress. During his illness, friends set up a crowd-funding site to help the family pay for the exorbitant medical bills (the site has raised more than $29,000 for the family). Now Keegan and his parents want to repay the kindness so they’re raising money for other families suffering similar fates. Keegan’s Krew has turned into a website that sells merchandise to raise funds for kids like Keegan. “There are nights where he gets a fever and we have to rush to the hospital at 2 a.m.,” said Mike McDade, a professional motocross racer. “But when Keegan got sick, everyone was just really supportive. We initially started this to donate to research but (now) we’ve started thinking about getting more individual families involved. ”


Coco Ho Saves Season with Win at SuperGirl Pro

This weekend featured a warm-up for the US Open of Surfing (which begins this week) and Coco Ho took advantage, winning the SuperGirl Pro in Oceanside, Calif., a qualifying series event for the World Surf League. The win was huge for Ho and her requalification bid for next year as she’s had a rough season. She’s currently sitting at No. 16 in the world with no major results to speak of. “I’ve had the worst competitive year and needed this result,” said Ho, who beat Carissa Moore in the semifinals and Malia Manuel in the final. “All I can think about is points. It’s definitely going to take consistency throughout the second half of the season and I’ve just had to wash away these first six months.”