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Three Young Girls Become Stars at the Tokyo Olympics

Skateboarding debuted at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and three young girls became the newest stars. Momiji Nishiya, Rayssa Leal, and Funa Nakayama now make part of the youngest medalists in the history of the Olympics.

The Woman Post | Catalina Mejía Pizano

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Although the Olympic Games were traditionally made for amateurs, during the present year, the youth movement was stronger than ever. The 2020 summer Olympics were held in Tokyo in 2021 since they were postponed due to the pandemic. Skateboarding was one of the four sports to debut at the Olympic program.

The Japanese girl Momiji Nishiya who is only 13 years old turned into the first Olympic champion in the history of skateboarding as an Olympic sport, for the discipline known as street skateboarding. Rayssa Leal from Brazil, who is also 13 years old, won a silver medal in this same category. However, it is worth highlighting that Nishiya who obtained a silver medal in the previous Olympic Games and who will turn 14 in August, is not the youngest medalist in the history of the Olympic Games.

Marjorie Gestring won the springboard title at the 1936 Berlin Games, becoming the youngest woman Olympic Champion. At that moment, Gestring was 13 years and 267 days old. If Rayssa Leal had won this year, she would have become the youngest woman Olympic Champion, since she was13 years and 268 days old. Nishiya obtained 15,26 points and Leal obtained 14,26 at the final. The bronze medal was awarded to another Japanese girl, Funa Nakayama, who is 16 years old and obtained 14,49 points.

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The silver medal won by Rayssa Leal was the third medal awarded to Brazil during the present Olympic Games. Besides the two silver medals on the street category of skateboarding, Brazil obtained a Bronze medal with Daniel Cargnin (judoka) (-66kg). Rayssa was the only Brazilian girl that made it to the final. Leticia Bufoni and Pamela Rosa didn’t manage to get into the final.

Skateboarding entered the  2020 Olympic program, as part of an initiative to rejuvenate the audiences of the event. Out of the eight finalists, six of them were at a range of 13 to 20 years old. The category of street skateboarding makes part of the two disciplines of skateboarding included at the Games, along with Park or Bowl.

In the street skateboarding discipline, the skaters perform flat-ground tricks, slides, grinds, and aerials. During the competition, the riders must complete two 45 second runs and then 5 tricks. To obtain the final score, only the best three results are counted out of the 7 performed. Five judges are in charge of evaluating the participants, bearing in mind the creativity and the quality of the performances.

In the street discipline, Rayssa Leal became widely recognized, and obtained the attention of several newspapers, as mentioned by the President of the Brazilian Federation of Skateboarding, Eduardo Musa. As shown in the Tokyo Olympic Games, once again, the sports context provided an excellent opportunity for females to show their great abilities and their outstanding dedication to reach their goals!