Youngest Olympic podium? 13-year-old skateboarders Momiji Nishiya and Rayssa Leal top honors

Japan’s Momiji Nishiya took gold home while Brazil’s Rayssa Leal bagged silver. Both girls are 13 years old


                            Youngest Olympic podium? 13-year-old skateboarders Momiji Nishiya and Rayssa Leal top honors
From left, Rayssa Leal of Team Brazil and Momiji Nishiya and Funa Nakayama of Team Japan pose during the Women's Street Final medal ceremony on day three of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Olympics' first-ever women’s skateboarding event saw the youngest teenagers ever to win in the Games' long history. Japan’s Momiji Nishiya took gold and Brazil’s Rayssa Leal bagged the silver medal. Leal, who is 13 years and 203 days old, could have become the youngest ever individual Olympic champion, but Nishiya, in the lead, took that honor instead. The person who took the bronze medal home was Japan’s Funa Nakayama, who is also very young, at 16 years.

Skateboarding is one among a number of sports that have debuted in this year’s international multi-sport event. For the competition, each of the participants was given two 45-second runs on the equipment and five shots at a one-off trick. For the final result, the competitors' best four scores out of the seven were used to announce the winner.

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From left, Rayssa Leal of Team Brazil with Momiji Nishiya and Funa Nakayama of Team Japan pose with their medals during the Women's Street Final medal ceremony on day three of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Urban Sports Park on July 26, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

According to reports, Nishiya outperformed in the tricks section and got 15.26 points while Leal finished with 14.64. Nakayama earned 14.49 points. Nishiya’s win came a day after Japan’s Yuto Horigome won the men’s title in skateboarding on Sunday, July 25. After winning gold, she said, “I’m so glad to become the youngest (Japanese gold medallist) at my first Olympics... tears came to my eyes. I was nervous on the first run but I was not nervous later.” Nishiya also said that she will work towards winning another gold medal at the Paris Olympics in 2024, but before that, she will “go and eat at a beef barbeque restaurant”.

Momiji Nishiya of Team Japan competes during the Women's Street Final on day three of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Urban Sports Park on July 26, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

However, no one has yet broken the record of US diver Marjorie Gestring, who remains the youngest individual Olympic champion. Gestring was just 13 years and 268 days old when he won the gold medal in the 3m springboard at the 1936 Berlin Games.

Youngest Olympic podium ever? 

Meanwhile, Twitter was happy after the two 13-year-olds occupied the podium together. The official account of the Olympics tweeted, “A historic first on home soil! #JPN's Nishiya Momiji is the first women's Olympic #Skateboarding champion! @worldskatesb @Japan_Olympic.” A user wrote, “13. 13. 16.  What a ridiculous podium. Amazing.” The second one noted, “13 year old takes the big W outta Japan? 13 year old takes 2nd W outta Brazil? 16 year old takes 3rd W outta Japan? Olympic skateboarding's nice.” “Podium with a combined age of 42. Incredible,” the third one stated.

Momiji Nishiya of Team Japan competes during the Women's Street Final on day three of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Urban Sports Park on July 26, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)


 



 



 

Funa Nakayama of Team Japan competes during the Women's Street Final on day three of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Urban Sports Park on July 26, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

A tweet read, “Three teen #Olympics2021 medalists. Absolutely incredible achievement. Such #inspiration! #thesegirlscan.” Another one mentioned, “At 13 years old, that is absolutely incredible!!!!!!!” A person sharing the video of a warm exchange between Nishiya and Leal wrote, “I don't know about you but this between Nishiya Momiji and Rayssa Leal is so soft.” “#Tokyo2020   #olympics   - Women’s Skateboard Street Final. #gold  13 years-old #silver 13 years-old #bronze 16 years-old. A very special moment in the history of sport,” a user added.

Rayssa Leal of Team Brazil competes during the Women's Street Final on day three of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Urban Sports Park on July 26, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)


 



 



 



 



 

An old video of Leal also went viral on the internet that showed her in a fairy frock while skateboarding. A fan of hers tweeted, “This is Rayssa Leal at age 6, dressed as a fairy, nailing a heel flip, 7 years ago. This morning she won silver at women's skateboarding in Tokyo at age 13. Incredible.” Another one stated: “RAYSSA LEAL ICONIC HISTORY GIGANTIC YOUNGEST ATHLETE IN THE HISTORY OF BR TO WIN A MEDAL AT THE OLYMPICS I WILL NEVER FORGET.”



 



 

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