No teenager currently living is as cool as the three teen girls who medaled in street skateboarding at the Olympics: Nishiya Momiji (13) of Japan, Rayssa Leal (13) of Brazil, and Nakayama Funa (16), also of Japan. Congratulations to those girls and also to their parents, who will be able to brag about this achievement for eternity.
This is skateboarding’s first year at the Olympics and it’s already shaping up to be the most interesting sport in the broadcast line-up. The competition is divided into men’s and women’s Street and men’s and women’s Park. The street skating portion of the competition has come to a close, with Japan, Brazil, and the United States claiming medals. But it was the performances of Nishiya, Leal, and Nakayama that made me hope that my own future (and currently very imaginary) spawn is as cool as these three.
As a recently minted Sk8rGrl myself (rollerskates, not skateboarding, because I’m old) I have often fantasized about bringing my spawn to the local skatepark and pumping on a ramp together. She in her vintage Barbie skates and me in the same set up I learned how to skate in because that shit was so expensive I refuse to buy another pair. A recently resurfaced video of silver medalist Rayssa Leal skateboarding in a fairy dress when she was 7 only skyrocketed my fantastical dream of giving birth to a mini roller babe.
This single video sent me down a rabbit hole of adorable skate videos posted by these young Olympians and it is perhaps the most wholesome yet terrifying content currently on the internet. What Leal, Nishiya, and Nakayama do on a daily basis is astounding and even when they fall, they do it with such a level of unmatched swag that the ground upon which they roll probably apologizes to them for ruining their trick.
While this particular Olympics has been rife with controversy, as is customary for a worldwide sporting event, these young girls have been a pleasant and fascinating addition to everyone’s television screens.