Who are Sky Brown's parents? How dad Stuart inspired 13-year-old British skating sensation
At 13, Brown is Great Britain's youngest ever summer Olympian but nearly didn't make it to the games after a horrific accident in 2020
At 13, Sky Brown is not only a well-known skater, but she's also got the unique distinction of being Great Britain's youngest ever summer Olympian. To top it off, there's a good chance she could return with a medal, making her one of the youngest to do so. But for Sky, the journey here was not as smooth as her skating skills. Unlike other Olympians, she faced one unique challenge - convincing her parents.
With the Tokyo Olympics setting new records, and achievements for the world's athletes, we've extensively covered some of the most exciting names to emerge. We told you about Raevyn Rogers, the 25-year-old runner from the University of Oregon, and Jamaican record-breaker Shelley-Ann Fraser-Pryce. We also covered the unique story of Ilona Maher, who became a TikTok sensation even before her Olympic debut for the US women’s rugby sevens team.
Now, we'd like to shine a spotlight on Sky, who has certainly got the world's attention. On August 3, Sky qualified for the women's skateboarding park final. She's finished second, ahead of 12-year-old Kokona Hiraki. If one of them manages to win, they'll be the youngest Olympic gold medalist in history. That's a huge deal, which is why she is currently going viral on social media. On that occasion, we decided to take a look at her parents, and how there nearly stopped her from making Olympic history.
Who are Sky Brown's parents?
Born in Japan, it almost seems as if skating in the Olympics was destiny for Sky. Her father is Stuart Brown, a British national who is also known for his skating prowess. While he never made it to the Olympics, Stuart's legacy will be inspiring Sky to make history at the Olympics. "I remember her, as a baby, on her tummy all the time on a skateboard. It sounds like a cliche but it was her favorite toy," he told The Guardian. He also built a mini-ramp in the backyard of their home in Japan, which he said "egged" Sky on.
When Sky was four, Stuart realized that her love for skating was more than just a hobby. He posted a video of her skating to Facebook, which resulted in "millions of views overnight and I thought, ‘Oh shit!’ It went nuts. That was probably the first time I thought, she’s actually really good for her age." Stuart now helps Sky manage her growing digital fanbase, keeping in mind that it can get addictive fast. "We really limit her social media," Stuart said. "Her sponsors hate it but it’s something we’ve kept as a family." Stuart reportedly works in marketing, and skates as a hobby.
Less is known about Sky's mother Mieko. We know she is Japanese and appears to take a more hands-off approach to her daughter's career. She does however manage Sky's Instagram profile, as Sky admits in her Instagram bio. Sky also has a brother Ocean, who is also making waves for his skating skills. However, Sky nearly didn't make it to the games, after her parents tried to pull the plug following two horrific accidents.
Sky's journey to the Olympics
In 2019, the Olympics qualifier was being held in Long Beach, California. A week before the event, she fell off her board and suffered a broken arm. "We were like, ‘Ah, you’re done. That’s over with then'," Stuart recalls. "And she said, 'No, I can still skate with my arm in a cast'." That's exactly what Sky did. Armed with a pink cast, not only did she compete, but she also came first. So far so good. However, things took a turn for the worse in 2020, when she suffered another deadly accident.
In May 2020, Sky fell headfirst from a 4.5-meter ramp. The accident left her with a broken skull, left arm, and hand, and lacerations to her heart and lungs. "I don’t remember anything about the fall," Sky said, "but apparently when I woke up, I didn’t know who I was or who my family was." Sky recovered within two months, but for her family, the trauma was more severe. "It was really hard for my wife. It took a long time before she could see Sky skate again. She doesn’t really watch her anymore. She’ll watch videos afterward but not live," Stuart said. Had the Olympics gone ahead as scheduled in 2020, Sky wouldn't have recovered in time to compete. However, it appears luck was on her side.
"My parents didn’t want me to do the Olympics, but I wanted to. They felt it was too much pressure," she told talkSPORT. Luckily for Sky, the Olympics were postponed and her parents gave in. It also helped that Team Great Britan were willing to let Sky have fun. "Team GB said: 'Come be on our team, there’s no pressure, just get out there and have fun'. That made my parents feel a little better," she said. But Sky still had to beg, and finally won the argument. Now, Sky is just hours away from Olympic glory, with the finals going ahead on July 4 (Tokyo time). Whether or not she wins a medal, Sky is definitely sticking around for a long time.