Tokyo 2020, Sky Brown: “At the Olympics with the skateboard to inspire girls”

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The link for the interview is done on Zoom, but the distance is not felt. The smile that never seems to leave her almost seems like a symbol of the California in which Sky Brown, 13, trains for Olympic Games, when she is not in Japan, where she was born. His nationality is however British for his father’s side and for the GB team he goes to Tokyo 2020, the youngest of the expedition, just 13 years old, but with the concrete possibility of aiming for a medal, even of the most precious metal.

His path to the Olympics postponed by a year is told in Reaching the Sky, original documentary on Discovery+, the TV that broadcasts the Olympic Games in full in Italy. In the interview as in the documentary, there is Sky, there is his family and there is the sport that is skateboarding, but also the surfboard. She says it herself: lifestyle is the word he uses and it is no coincidence. Everything revolves around the skate, on which she rose to two years, but not as an imposition, as fun, including a documentary. “Everything was fun, going to different places, skating in Venice Beach, but also with Nyjah Huston. All really fun ».

Is it really still fun as a pro at your age?
“I don’t think it’s tiring, not at all. I enjoy myself and try to improve myself. In all honesty it’s great fun. “

In this sport, which is making its debut at the Olympics, there aren’t many women, do you think you can inspire other girls?
“When I started there weren’t many girls, but the number is growing, especially because the Olympics are coming. Everyone is working hard, pulling out great tricks, stunts, and inspiring others. I hope the Olympics can show how fun, beautiful and creative skateboarding is ».

There is a lot of his family in the documentary. How much did it influence your choices and how much did they weigh on them?
“My father used to skateboard. He built a mini track behind the house. Skateboarding was my favorite game, mine and my father’s. I was always on it, going to the supermarket and everywhere else, always playing. My father inspired me. When he used it it seemed very strong and very funny. I wanted to try it at any cost. Skateboarding brought him, me and my brother closer ».

There are conflicting views on the arrival of skateboarding at the Olympics. Why does this sport have to be at the games?
«People think that skateboarding is not really a sport, but more a way of life. It’s certainly a fun thing that can be done anywhere, but in my opinion, it deserves to be in the Olympics. It is a great sport that surprises everyone because you never know what the athlete will do and this is beautiful to see ».

How does it feel on the skateboard?
“The most beautiful in the world. You are always on the edge because you often don’t know what you will do, how you will land, what you will invent. It is the sensation of flight. It is a great satisfaction, it is a wonderful feeling, difficult to explain ».

Do you want to be a skater forever?
“Yes, but I also want to do a lot of other things. Already now I do a lot more: dance, surf, fight. I try to do as many things as possible ».

How much did You Tube count in your preparation?
“YouTube has helped me a lot. It’s fun to watch videos and learn new tricks. I love doing vlogs and watching them. I like to tell myself: a girl like any other even if I do incredible things on the skateboard ».

What message do you want to send to your peers?
“Believe in your self. If you believe in yourself you can do everything. Try your best and have fun. Be brave. Often boys are scared and girls are especially scared. Sometimes I am the only one at the skatepark and I know this is intimidating, but the girls have to go and prove that others are wrong ».

What’s more important: a medal or an original trick?
“I really want a medal, but I’m going to do my best. I think my acrobatic movements will be used for a gold medal and for this I will try to do them ».

Do you think you are inspiring other athletes by going to the Olympics?
“I really hope I am, honestly that’s my goal. That’s what I want most. I want to go to the Olympics to be an inspiration for girls. Being a girl, so young, playing games and maybe doing well can really be a role model for others. My Olympic goal is to reduce the gender gap ».

But is skateboarding a lifestyle or a sport in the end?
«I think it’s a lifestyle. I love. It’s my lifestyle. It’s a fun thing and everyone can do it, but it’s also a sport that deserves games to be seen by the world ».

He does a lot of sports. Have you thought about choosing another to compete?
«At the next Olympics in Paris I want to compete in surfing. I love it as much as skateboarding and I do it every day (gets up at dawn for the best waves ed). I also like skateboarding on the street and not in dedicated parks.

And at thirty where do you imagine?
«To teach skateboarding to children».

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