The Tokyo Olympic Games have seen a lot of ‘new’s in its course of action, and the latest instance in the same notion is a monumental moment of inspiration as the grand quadrennial event has seen its youngest gold and silver medallists- two 13-year-old skateboarders.
Skateboarding, the well-known street sport that has its origin in the United States and is very famous among teenagers, made its debut at the Olympics this year with two disciplines- park and street, held across the men and women’s events.
On 26th July, the sport found its first women’s street skateboarding Olympic gold medallist in Momiji Nishiya, who hails from Osaka and is now the youngest person to win a gold at the Olympics in the past 85 years, at an age of 13 years and 330 days.
Nishiya, who clinched a silver at the World Skateboarding Championship earlier this year and another silver at the 2019 Summer X Games, scored 15.26 in the women’s street event.
“I didn’t think I could win, but everyone around me cheered me on so I’m glad I was able to find my groove,” Nishiya said after the event.
“Skateboarding is fun and interesting, I hope everyone can give it a try,” the teenager added.
Half of the skaters at the Tokyo Olympics are aged under 18 and on the heels of Nishiya’s historic feat, the sport saw another extraordinary achievement from Rayssa Leal, who is the youngest ever to win a medal at the Olympics.
Aged 13 years and 203 days, Leal is the youngest Olympic medalist of the past 85 years, who clinched silver in the women’s street event, scoring 14.64 behind Nishiya. Nicknamed the “Little Skateboard Fairy”, Leal is a former World Skateboarding Championship silver and bronze medallist.
The youngest medallist at the Olympics remains American diver Marjorie Gestring, who clinched a gold at the 1936 Berlin Games when she was aged 13 years and 267 days. If Leal was the gold medallist today, she would have broken Gestring’s record.