Teens Dominate the Podium in Olympic Skateboarding

Skateboarding, one of four new sports added to the Olympics, has crowned its first medal recipients.

Credit: New York Post

In the Olympic’s first ever Female Skateboarding Competition, Momiji Nishiya won the gold for Japan. At 13, she is the youngest person to ever receive a gold medal in 80 years, the first being US diver Marjorie Gestring in 1936, also 13 years old. Collectively, however, the medallists for the Skateboarding Finals were all under 18 years old. Silver went to fellow 13-year-old, Raussa Leal from Brazil. And bronze went to 16-year-old Funa Nakayama, also from Japan.

Nishiya told NHK in a televised interview that after two falls, that saw her receive 0 points, she didn’t think she could have won. However, continued praise and encouragement from her teammates allowed her to continue. She finished with 15.26 points, joining fellow male Japanese Skateboarder, Yuto Horigome, to get the gold for Japan. She was brought to tears when her win was announced at the Ariake Urban Sports Park.

Momiji Nishiya (Left) celebrating with her coach | Credit: Japan Times

This win follows a runner-up position to Aori Nishimura in the World Skateboarding Championships that took place in June. Nishiya had also previously won a silver medal at the Summer X Games in 2019.

The win presents a big change for the perception of skateboarding in Japan, with the hopes that it would lessen the country’s social stigma around skateboarding. Skateboarding is prohibited in public, with the police often stopping anyone that passes by on a board. Bronze-medallist Nakayama commented on how she hopes these wins would result in the development of more skate parks in Japan.

Subscribe to FIB’s Weekly “Breaking News” Report for your weekly dose of music, fashion and pop culture news!