Georgie's Legacy


Georgie’s physical presence on this earth came to an end the same day of his grand opening—July 18, 2015—likely due to injuries sustained from his accident the prior year. More than 250 people came to a memorial celebration of Georgie’s life at Brookside Park. Survived by his parents, Masahiro and Teresa Downing; brother and sister, Jyoshu and Mariay Tsushima; grandmother, Joyce Adams.

The 26-year-old had a profound effect on the skateboarding community in Ames and around the world, which makes him a person that should not be forgotten. More than 90 pages of documentation outlining the character of Georgie were presented to the Ames Parks and Recreation Commission in order to support the naming of the skate park after Georgie. Included in the materials were letters to the editor, news articles, magazine highlights, videos, and a petition signed by more than 2,000 people from 45 states and 24 countries. Leading skateboard magazines Thrasher and Skateboarding featured farewells to Georgie, calling him a well-loved legend due to his skills, joyful spirit, and love of life and people. Publishers in South America and Japan also tipped their hats to Georgie, posting their farewells to an emerging legend in the industry.


“Georgie was a very caring person, and to the skateboarding community he meant a lot. What resonates most in the documentation provided is Georgie’s desire to serve others. There are many comments regarding mentoring others, stressing a drug- and alcohol-free way of living, being a positive role model, and giving a hand to those in need. His desire to open a skate shop was not to make a profit, but to give people a place to go and feel a part of something,”
– Keith Abraham, Director, City of Ames Parks and Recreation

“A home is a place for nurturing growth, guiding us through life's experiences, and ultimately inspiring us to live a full life with vigor and fortitude. To achieve this, a home should be filled with the people that symbolize our greatest aspirations. Naming the skate park after Georgie is about giving the skateboard community a home in Ames, filling it with the people that make us want to fulfill our greatest aspirations. In reality, the Ames skate park already is the "Georgie Skate Park," and the City is just catching up on the paperwork.” – Jyoshu Tsushima

“His strength, courage, and love will be with all of his family and many others for the rest of our lives. We can all learn so much from Georgie's unselfish way of living.” – Teresa Downing

“Be inspired by the people around you and cherish their company. The people you love most and care about bring something special to the plate that isn’t always recognized until they’re gone.” – Georgie Tsushima

"We all grow older and pick up a load we never planned on carrying. For most of us things become difficult, we have more responsibilities to take care of, we lose people we care about, and create new friendships. No matter what, things become hard and we fall down... but that’s life. Skateboarding is how WE get back on our feet and move forward."
– Georgie Tsushima