Two 13-year-olds won gold and silver in skateboarding and people are loving it

·3 min read
Rayssa Leal of Team Brazil puts her hand up to the face of Momiji Nishiya of Team Japan during the Women's Street Final. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Rayssa Leal of Team Brazil puts her hand up to the face of Momiji Nishiya of Team Japan during the Women's Street Final. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Most 13-year-olds are probably hanging out at home right now, relaxing through their work-free summers before entering high school come the fall, but not Momiji Nishiya or Rayssa Leal — they’re busy winning Olympic medals.

Nishiya became the youngest individual Olympic champion, and first ever in women’s skateboarding after winning gold in the street event on Monday in Tokyo, doing so on home soil, no less.

The Osaka, Japan native is already an X-Games and world championship silver medallist. She managed to move one step further up the podium for her first gold medal on the international stage thanks to a clinical final round, which she capped off with a bold gap to lipslide.

Brazilian phenom Leal, who received admiration from Tony Hawk years ago, claimed silver, and Japanese 16-year-old Funa Nakayama won bronze to complete a teenage sweep of the podium.

The achievements garnered widespread positive reactions on Twitter, which was a breath of fresh air on what can often be an overwhelmingly negative platform.

Nishiya won with a score of 15.26 and joined fellow Japanese skateboarder Yuto Horigome, who won the men’s street competition on Sunday, as the only two Olympic skateboarding gold medallists in the world.

Leal trailed with a score of 14.64, just edging out Nakayama who scored 14.49.

Olympic organizers shouldn’t be regretting their decision to include skateboarding at the Games for the first time. Skateboarding is one of four sports making its Olympic debut this summer, and with moments like these, it looks like it could become a mainstay.

More skateboarding action is still to come in Tokyo as the women’s park competition takes place on Aug. 4, followed by the men’s event on Aug. 5.

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