Skateboarding has proved a surprise hit so far at the Tokyo Olympics with the men and women’s street events both producing Japanese winners, to the delight of the local media and officials lucky enough to get inside the skatepark to witness them.
Skating is making its Olympic debut and it was a controversial choice. Seb Coe simply said: “It’s in there,” with a roll of the eyes when The Independent asked him what he thought of the discipline entering the Olympic Games.
Likewise, there has been scepticism from within the skateboarding community worried that the sport is going against its counterculture roots and selling its soul.
But so far it has managed to bridge the gap, proving popular to a wider audience while still retaining some authenticity, with athletes seen wearing jeans and listening to AirPods while they perform.
Britain’s 13-year-old sensation Sky Brown will perform in the ‘park’ event on Wednesday 4 August. The event will start at 9am JST/1am BST with the preliminary heats at the Ariake Sports Park, and the final will take place later the same day starting at 12.30pm JST/4.30am BST.
Who is Sky Brown?
She is a burgeoning Generation Z sporting revolutionary, a new superstar for the digital age set to become Great Britain’s youngest ever Summer Olympian and confirm the arrival of a precocious skateboarding talent at Tokyo 2020.
Sky Brown will compete in the Women’s Park skateboarding event at the Olympics having only just turned 13, and will be about a month younger than Great Britain’s previous youngest Summer Olympian Margery Hinton, who swam in the 200m breaststroke at the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam.
With the best part of a million followers on Instagram and a devoted Youtube audience who follow her atypical and amazing teenage life on the channel she shares with younger brother (and fellow skateboarder) Ocean, Brown splits her time between California and her home of Miyazaki, on Japan’s southern-most major island, Kyushu, and is also a proficient surfer.
Born to an English father and Japanese mother, Brown turned professional at the age 10 and is Nike’s youngest sponsored athlete. Brown has said she is hoping to provide inspiration to young female skateboarders and encourage more young women to take up the sport when she drops onto the course in Tokyo.
“If you go to the skatepark it’s mostly boys there,” explained Brown after her selection for Tokyo was confirmed. “Now there’s more and more girls there, which is cool, but it’s usually mostly boys. And I feel like sometimes girls are scared to be the only girl and they’re scared to be judged by the boys.
“But I feel like watching the Olympics, seeing how many girls are doing the sport and how good [they are], they’re gonna really want to [try it], which I’m really happy about.”
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