An average day for a 15-year-old normally consists of school, homework and spending time with friends – but not for Sky Brown.

The skateboarding sensation, who has more than 1.3 million followers on Instagram, became Britain’s youngest ever Olympian ever when she competed at Tokyo 2020 aged 13.

Brown was all smiles in Tokyo as she won Britain’s first Olympic medal in skateboarding – and will aim to do it all again at Paris 2024Credit: Getty

Not only that, she then became Team GB’s youngest-ever Olympic medallist, earning bronze in the women’s park skateboarding event in Japan.

She will have turned 16 by the time she competes at Paris 2024, where she will be looking for more medal success and maybe even finishing higher on the podium.

Whether it’s being friends with extreme sports royalty Tony Hawk and Shaun White or becoming world champion aged 14, Brown is truly one of the coolest teenagers in the world. 

Choosing to represent Team GB

Brown had the option to represent a number of countries on the international stage. Her father is British but moved to the United States as a teenager, while her mother is from Japan. 

The skateboarding star was born in Miyazaki in Japan, where she spends half the school year. The other half is spent in Huntington Beach in California, where she learnt to skate in the local parks. 

Brown never had a coach, instead relying on YouTube to learn tricks. But she has benefited from the help of snowboarding legend Shaun White and skateboarding icon Tony Hawk. White lives nearby and would practise with Brown, while Hawk has said she could be “one of the best, well-rounded skaters ever, regardless of gender.”

After becoming the world’s youngest professional skateboarder, Brown had to decide who she would compete for on the international stage. She originally had her heart set on representing Japan, but was swayed by Skateboard GB’s relaxed attitude. 

As a result, she represented Britain at the 2019 World Skateboarding Championships, finishing with a bronze medal. Placing on the podium at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games was now a very real possibility.

Skateboarding icon and innovator Tony Hawk has been a friend and mentor to Brown for many yearsCredit: Getty
Skateboarding was one of the most exciting sports to watch at Tokyo 2020 in it’s first ever Olympic GamesCredit: Getty

Recovering from a horror slam

Skateboarding made its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020, which actually took place in 2021 after a year’s delay due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The postponement probably benefited Brown, who suffered a life-threatening fall in May 2020. 

Simulation shows who would win a 100m race between Usain Bolt and PSG star Kylian Mbappe

The incident happened in training when Brown was skating up a half-pipe ramp and lost contact with her board, plummeting 15 feet to the ground. As well as suffering a fractured skull, Brown also broke her left wrist and hand. 

She was flown in an air ambulance to hospital where she underwent recovery, posting on Instagram to reassure her followers that she was OK.

“I know a lot of people are worried about me, but don’t worry, I’m okay,” she said. “I’m excited to come back even stronger and even tougher. 

“My heart wants to go so hard right now. I’m just waiting for my body to catch up. Thank you everyone for sending your love, messages and supporting me. I’m sorry to make you worry. I’m gonna be just fine.”

Brown fell off a halfpipe in 2020Credit: Instagram: @SkyBrown
The accident left the young skater with a fractured skull, a broken wrist and broken handCredit: Instagram: @SkyBrown

Earning an Olympic medal

Brown recovered from her horror fall in time to qualify for Tokyo 2020, heading into the Olympics just a week after winning her first X Games gold medal.

Once in Tokyo, she finished third behind Japan’s Sakura Yosozumi and Kokona Hiraki. All three of the medallists were teenagers, with Hiraki even younger than Brown.

Brown retained her X Games title in 2022, before winning gold in the park event at the 2023 World Skateboarding Championships. The result made her the first British skateboarding world champion.

Ahead of Paris 2024, Brown was not just focusing on skateboarding. She also wanted to represent Britain in the surfing competition, having loved the sport since she was four years old. 

Brown narrowly missed out on a qualification spot while competing at the World Surfing Games in March, meaning all her focus in Paris will be on skateboarding. But she is still aiming to become an Olympian in two sports at Los Angeles 2028.

The British teen came third in Tokyo and will aim to finisher higher on the podium in ParisCredit: Getty
Brown is also a professional surfer and is hoping to qualify for the Los Angeles Games in 2028 after missing out on a place at Paris 2024Credit: Getty

“I enjoyed every moment,” Brown said, after missing out on a surfing spot at Paris 2024. “It was pretty tough, but I’ve learned so much. I will keep it with me forever. 

“I’m definitely super proud. I made it quite far. I wish I could have done it in Paris, but LA is my home. Bring it on in LA.”

Brown’s utter fearlessness is truly inspiring, and she’s now hoping to pass this on to others through her book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Skateboarding”.

The book details her journey in skateboarding and gives step-by-step instructions for beginner tricks. 

“I always love sharing my story,” Brown told “I always love teaching.

“It makes me smile and also puts a smile on their face, so I’ve always loved that, and I thought it was a fun way to share my story.”

Brown’s story so far is certainly extraordinary, and it’s only set to continue at Paris 2024.

Source Link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here