13-Year-Old Skateboarder Momiji Nishiya Becomes One of the Youngest Gold Medal Winners Ever

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Momiji Nishiya the thirteen-year-old skateboarder has become one of the youngest gold medal winners ever, taking home the crown for the women’s street competition, which debuted in Tokyo for the very first time.

This win for the nation followed the win by Yuto Horigome in the men’s competition the day before!

“I welled up in tears because I was beyond happy,” Nishiya said after her win, which took place in a nearly empty sports park. She landed her final 3 tricks and was awarded big scores, beating Rayssa Leal of Brazil, also thirteen, and Funa Nakayama of Japan, who won the bronze medal as a sixteen-year-old skater.

Both Nishiya and Leal are the youngest ever medalists in their countries. Impressive.

“It’s not right to think, well you have to study, you can’t go skating because skating is for boys,” Leal told Reuters. “I think skateboarding is for everyone.”

The youngest gold medalist ever was Marjorie Gestring, who won the women’s diving competition at the 1936 Berlin Games at age thirteen years and 268 days.

“I want more rivals, which will make skating more fun,” Nakayama said.

All of the competitors shared the same sentiment: wanting to show other girls that anyone can skate. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a man or a woman, girl, or boy. Skating is skating.

“For a long time, there were way fewer females doing this,” Team USA’s Alexis Sablone, who placed 4th, told Reuters. “It’s taken until now for enough people to pay attention, to get enough eyes on it, to inspire more girls around the world to start skating.”

The street event is notable for the youthful competitors.

There weren’t that many spectators due to an increase in COVID-19 cases in the capital which admittedly affected some of the skaters, but they still performed exceptionally well.

“Even without spectators, I’m trying to enjoy the mood here and skate my own way,” Nishimura said.