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26th Jul 2021

13 year old makes Olympics history as Japan’s youngest gold medal winner

Sarah McKenna Barry

The teenager cried tears of joy when she realised she won.

13 year-old Momiji Nishiya from Japan has become her country’s youngest ever gold medal winner as she took home the top prize in the street skateboarding competition at the Tokyo Olympics.

The teenager became very emotional when she discovered that she’d made history with her win.

She said: “I welled up because I was beyond happy.”

Nishiya admitted that she felt “stressed out” during the competition as she missed the landings on two of her initial tricks. However, she made up for it in the final three tricks and earned 4.66 points on her fourth.

Nishiya wasn’t the only teenager in the street skateboarding final. The silver medalist, Rayssa Leal from Brazil, is also just 13, while Nishiya’s 16 year-old teammate, Funa Nakayama secured the bronze.

Nakayama said that she hopes the success of the support at the Olympics will encourage more women to take up skateboarding.

She said: “I want more rivals which will make skating more fun.”

Nishiya also defeated the current world champion, her teammate Aori Nishimura. The 19 year-old struggled in the event and ended up coming last.

Japan also saw victory in the men’s division of the street skateboarding events. Yuto Horigome won his first ever gold medal yesterday.

This year’s summer games in Tokyo marks the first appearance of skateboarding at the Olympics. Skateboarding joins four other sports making their debut this year. The others are baseball/softball, karate, sports climbing and surfing.

The skateboarding events are being held at temporary urban areas installed throughout the city.

The International Olympic Committee said that this change marks a “historic step in bringing the Games to young people and reflecting the trend of urbanisation of sport.”