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After making history by becoming the youngest British Olympic medalist of all time, skater Sky Brown is already preparing for her next step: surfing.
Brown told BBC Sport: It’s the goal, it’s my dream, to compete for skating and surfing in Paris. It would be really cool. I surf more than I skate! “
Her father, Stu, has revealed that he dissuaded his daughter from trying to surf as well as skateboard in Tokyo, but admits he might be powerless to stop her again.
“It’ll be hers by then. She’ll be 16, and it’s hard enough now,” he joked.
Sky surfs almost every day before school and has competed in junior level competitions, finishing second in an invitational aerial surfing in Texas.
There could be an issue that makes it difficult for Sky to achieve its ambition – the surfing has to take place in Tahiti, nearly 10,000 miles from the French capital where skateboarding will take place.
Sky is the limit
Never having had a skateboard trainer, Sky learns most of his tricks from watching YouTube videos, and his natural athletic talent seems to transfer into the water.
Sky, who divides his time between the United States and Japan, often takes advantage of the Californian climate and surfs with his father and brother Ocean.
When asked if it was possible to compete in both events in 2024, she replied: “Maybe. I really hope so – I will definitely try. [to compete in] surfing.
“I’m going to surf a lot after here. I’m excited to see my brother again.”
But that’s for 2024. So far, Sky says she’s living a “dream” after skateboarding success at Tokyo 2020. It’s been quite a journey.
The return child
Disclaimer: The external video from Sky’s Instagram account contains footage that some viewers may find distressing.
Had the Games been held in 2020, it is highly unlikely that Sky would have been fit to compete in Tokyo.
Stu said his daughter was “lucky to be alive” after crashing last May between two ramps while attempting to jump in training, fracturing her skull, breaking her left arm and wrist, and sustaining lacerations to her heart and lungs .
Her parents wanted her to stop skating but she said, “That won’t stop me. I’m going for gold in Tokyo 2021.”
In June, a video was posted to her Instagram account showing the moment she lost control at the top of a ramp. He cut before the fall at a shot from an air ambulance, followed by a message to his supporters from his hospital bed, black eye, arm in a cast.
Nothing is normal for this incredibly talented 13-year-old but maybe this video, which has over two million views, highlights just how different her life is.
Sky also fell ahead of her Olympic qualification, breaking her arm, but still came first while wearing a protective cast.
She qualified for Wednesday’s final in Tokyo, doing a light job of her heat with the second-highest score.
It was a nervous start as she fell on her first two runs, putting her fourth on her last effort – something she admitted she wasn’t expecting.
âI thought I was going to make it. I was a little shocked after the first run. Then after the second fall, I was like, ‘Am I going to make it?’
“Sakura [Yosozumi, Japan’s gold medal winner] said, ‘You got it, Sky. We know you’re going to get there ‘. It really made me feel better. “
Her father’s words of encouragement also helped.
âHe said, ‘You know, it’s just a contest. It doesn’t define you.’ It made me feel better – it’s just a contest and if you fall, that’s what it is, âSky added.
The teenager, who celebrated her 13th birthday just 16 days before the opening ceremony in Tokyo, showed incredible poise to get a clean final round and complete the indy kickflip – the trick that took her wiped out in her first two attempts – to seal the bronze with a rating of 56.47.
“I believed in myself”
Sky, who was born a month before the 2008 Beijing Olympics, speaks with incredible maturity for a teenager. After finishing on the podium, she hoped that more young girls would follow in her footsteps.
“I really hope to inspire young girls. I feel like people are not too young not to be able to do it, but if you believe in yourself you can do anything. I believed in me,” a she declared.
“Anyone can skate. You don’t have to be a certain height or a certain age – you can skate whenever you want. You just skate and go.”
Sky Brown Facts
- Sky’s father, Stu, is English, but moved to the United States as a teenager. He and Sky’s mother, Mieko, met in Japan, where Mieko and Sky were born and the family – which also includes Sky’s brother, Ocean – are now based.
- Skateboarding with the family; Stu first introduced his daughter to the sport while competing as an amateur, alongside his work in marketing.
- Her skateboarding commitments – her first Olympic qualification was in Long Beach when she was 10 – means she divides her time between California and Miyazaki.
- Because his athletic career is so hectic and requires so much travel, Sky only attends school – in Orange County – twice a week and completes his learning online.
- Sky also enjoys dancing and singing, and in 2018 turned down a spot at the X Games to focus on the junior edition of Dancing with the Stars – the US version of Strictly Come Dancing – which she won.
- Sky has a number of sponsorship deals and was acquired by Nike after turning pro in 2018 at the age of 10, becoming their youngest athlete.
- Stu says they chose Team GB over Japan because of GB Skateboard President Lucy Adams’ laid back approach, which matched their feelings on how to develop their daughter’s talents.