Culture

13-Year-Old Skateboarder Momiji Nishiya Becomes Japan's Youngest Olympic Champion

The teen won gold in women’s street skateboarding.

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13-Year-Old Skateboarder Momiji Nishiya Becomes Japan's Youngest Olympic Champion

The teen won gold in women’s street skateboarding.

13-year-old Momiji Nishiya won gold in the women’s street skateboarding final at the Tokyo Olympics, an achievement that makes her Japan’s youngest Olympic champion and the world’s first female Olympic skateboarding champion.⁠

At 13 years and 330 days old, Nishiya also becomes the second-youngest individual gold medalist, bested only by Marjorie Gestring, who was 13 years and 268 days when she won in women’s diving at the 1936 Berlin Games. “I didn’t think I could win, but everyone cheered me on so I’m glad I was able to find my groove,” Nishiya told South China Morning Post. “I wasn’t too worried about getting a medal. It was like, it’d be nice if I can get one,” she added.

Nishiya wasn’t the only prodigy to place in women’s skateboarding — 13-year-old Rayssa Leal of Brazil won silver and 16-year-old Funa Nakayama of Japan took bronze. Speaking to Insider, Nishiya said competing at the Olympics “didn’t feel too different from the other competitions I’ve been to, tension-wise.”

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