skater Sky Brown to become Britain’s youngest summer Olympian | GB team
Skateboarding isn’t just for boys: that message went out loud on Thursday as the GB team announced their first Olympic skate team, led by two young women who will be barely teenagers when it kicks off of the Tokyo Games.
Sky Brown will become Britain’s youngest summer Olympian when she competes in Tokyo at the age of 13 and 11 days alongside Bombette Martin, 14, with the two girls making history with their inclusion in the the beginnings of skateboarding on the sport’s biggest stage.
Speaking as their official selection was confirmed, Brown said that by being “the little one in there, going big,” she hoped she could show the merits of the sport she devoted her young life to and show other girls. that they had no reason. to fear.
“I’m just excited to be at the Olympics. Skate the new bowl, skate again with all my friends and hopefully get the gold and inspire people, ”she said with a 100 watt smile. “It’s a crazy feeling. It’s more than a dream come true. I mean, it’s crazy. I am so happy and will do my best for Great Britain.
Martin said the reality was only getting deeper: “I’m going to be an Olympian and I’m going to be able to say that for the rest of my life. I am so excited.
When Brown gets on her board in Tokyo, she will claim the title of Britain’s youngest summer Olympian to swimmer Margery Hinton, who was 13 years and 44 days old when she competed in Amsterdam in 1928. “Everyone world is watching all over the world. And I feel like if I’m… the little one in there that goes big… I hope they think maybe they could do it and show the world how fun and creative skateboarding is. She said.
But the main group Brown hopes to win are other young girls who may think sports aren’t for them. “If you go to the skatepark, it’s mostly boys. Now there are more and more girls there, which is cool, but it’s usually mostly boys. And I feel like sometimes girls are afraid of being the only girl and they are afraid of being judged by boys.
“But I want to watch the Olympics, to see how many girls play sports and how [they are], they will really want [try it], which I’m really happy about.
Despite his age, Brown has already faced some major challenges getting to the Olympics. Last year her father, who will be accompanying her to Tokyo, said she was “lucky to be alive” after falling and sustaining multiple injuries while training in California. She fractured her skull and broke her wrist and left hand, and was unresponsive when she arrived at the hospital after being airlifted by helicopter.
It was, Brown admitted, “a really tough time,” but she insisted it hadn’t dented her confidence. “I wasn’t scared at all. I just wanted to come back. I was excited and felt stronger. I actually wanted to do more things, ”she said.
You might wonder if the preteen is scared as she stabilizes her board in her hand, ready to fall into the abyss. Not at all, insists Brown. “I’m just thinking about blasting. I’m just thinking about getting up high, taking my kicks, taking my line and [having] style.”
Both contestants have American overtones, with Brown dividing his time between Japan and the United States while Martin grew up in New York City, but they each have a British father.
Raised in Japan by her Japanese father and mother, Brown is currently ranked No. 3 in the world. She recently won a silver medal on the US Dew Tour and took third place at the world championships in Rio de Janeiro the previous season.
Martin, meanwhile, is the daughter of John “Bomber” Martin, a former amateur boxer from Birmingham. She won the GB x Habito National Skateboard Championships in April and finished in the Top 20 on the Dew Tour. “Whenever I go to England I spend most of the time in Birmingham and every memory I have is wonderful,” she said.
The duo qualified third and 18th respectively in the World Skate qualifying season.
The new Olympic sport is divided into two disciplines. In the street event, skaters choose an individual route over stairs, ramps, curbs, benches and inclines, while in the park – the discipline of Brown and Martin – competitors run through smooth bowls with steep sides. Competitors from both disciplines are judged on their tricks, originality and style.
As two of the most recognizable faces of skateboarding in Britain, Martin and Brown have already made a huge impact according to Team GB skateboard team leader Darren Pearcy, who added that there was had tremendous growth in participation over the past 18 months, much of it coming from girls playing sports.
“When you see someone like Sky or Bombette flying through the air through turns and bumps, you can’t not be excited about it,” he said. “When you’re 12 and watching Sky Brown fly through the air, you probably think she’s a superhero.”
Martin predicts the sport’s popularity will “explode”, while Brown urges skeptics to give skateboarding a chance. “It’s a fun sport, you’ll see,” she said. “There are a lot of unexpected things and it’s super fun to watch.”