In the inaugural Olympics street skateboarding competition, two of the youngest competitors at the Olympic Games won the gold and silver. The gold medallist, NISHIYA Momiji, wrote her name into the history books with a score of 15.26. Her final three runs (4.15, 4.66, and 3.43) were enough to secure the top spot on the podium, as she beat Brazil's Rayssa Leal, also 13, and 16-year-old NAKAYAMA Funa to gold in what is believed to be the youngest Olympic podium ever.
Nishiya, who won a silver medal at the 2021 world championships in Rome, has now secured the ultimate prize in the sport after her unique blend of trickery, skill and consistency saw her triumph in a tense final that went all the way down to the final run.
“I’m so happy to win the Olympics in Japan, and I’m so happy to win my first Olympics as one of the youngest competitors,” she said, before explaining how her initial jitters drifted away as the competition began: “It’s like other competitions. I was nervous in the first run, but I wasn’t after that.” -Nishiya-
One of the reasons people were so thrilled about skateboarding being included in the Olympic program was the youthful excitement it would bring to the Games. Now with 13-year-old gold and silver medallists, that youth has proven its ability to shine in ways few could have predicted on the greatest sporting stage of all.
Rayssa Leal, who is not only Brazil's youngest-ever medallist but also an Olympian, won silver with a score of 14.64 with Nakayama the bronze medallist with 14.49. But the day belongs to Nishiya, whose name goes down in the record books as the first female skateboarder to strike gold at an Olympics.
She can also anticipate a happy homecoming in Brazil as her proud family awaits her: “I was able to realize my dream and my father’s dream," she said. -LEAL-