Japan’s Momiji Nishiya made history on 26 July 2021 by winning the first ever gold medal in women’s street skateboarding at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
At the age of 13, Nishiya topped the podium for the event along with Rayssa Leal of Brazil, also 13, who won the silver medal and Japan’s Funa Nakayama, 16, who received the bronze medal. The trio also set the record for the youngest individual podium in the history of the Olympic Games with an average age of 14 years and 191 days.
Nishiya stumbled on her first two tricks, missing the landing on both, but successfully performed her final three tricks to end the event with a score of 15.26, ahead of Leal’s final score of 14.64. Had she won, Leal would have become the youngest individual Olympic champion at 13 years and 203 days.
Japan has enjoyed success in the street skateboarding event at this year’s Games as Yuto Horigome won the men’s competition.
Currently, the youngest ever Olympic champion is Marjorie Gestring, who won gold in the springboard event at the 1936 Berlin Games at the age of 13 years and 267 days.
However, Gestring’s record could still be broken at the Tokyo Games as Sky Brown will become Britain’s youngest Olympian at 13 years and 28 days when she competes in the women’s park skateboarding event on 4 August. Japan’s Kokona Hiraki (12 years and 343 days) could also break Gestring’s record as she will compete in the same event as Brown.
Along with skateboarding, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games has introduced five other sports – sport climbing, surfing, karate, baseball and softball.