Sky Brown: who is the Team GB skateboarder? Where is Sky Brown from and why is she competing for Great Britain?
The young skateboarder just set yet another record for Team GB at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 – here’s what you need to know about the extraordinary Sky Brown, how old she is and why she is competing for Great Britain.
Sky Brown took to the women’s park skateboarding final of the Tokyo Olympics 2020 today (August 4) and came away with a bronze medal – becoming the youngest ever Olympic medallist for Team GB after competing in the international championships as the UK’s youngest Olympian to date.
This comes after skateboarding became one of five new sports added to the total 33 sports at the Olympic Games 2020, with skateboarding getting a boost in popularity worldwide as it debuted at the prestigious global games.
After falling in her first two runs of the skateboarding final on Wednesday, Brown nailed her last attempt with a score of 56.47 to finish behind Japanese pair Sakura Yosozumi and Kokona Hiraki.
Brown's achievement is all the more remarkable for the fractured skull and broken bones she suffered during an horrific fall in training last year.
Brown posted a video clip of the fall on her Instagram account, which has approaching one million followers, along with the message: "I'm excited to come back even stronger and even tougher. My heart wants to go so hard right now."
Here’s everything you need to know about the Team GB skateboarding star.
Who is Sky Brown and how old is she?
Sky Brown is a skateboarder who has been competing in worldwide sports events like the 2016 US Open since she was just eight years old.
Born in July 2008, Brown turned 13 in 2021 – making her the youngest athlete to ever compete for Team GB at an Olympics.
But while Brown became the youngest person to win an Olympic medal for Great Britain as she scooped the bronze in the women’s skateboarding final on August 4, she is not the youngest Olympic medallist ever.
Kokona Hiraki of Japan, aged just 12, duly eclipsed Brown to become the youngest Olympic medallist in 85 years as she took gold in the event, with 19-year-old Japanese skater Sakura Yosozumi taking the silver medal in the final.
Sky Brown arrived at the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 with plenty of profile, having won the US version of 'Dancing With The Stars: Juniors' in 2018.
When Brown was seriously injured in her life-threatening fall last year, medical experts said the teen was ‘lucky to be alive’ as parents feared that the third world rank might not survive the fall.
Where is Sky Brown from?
Sky Brown was born in Miyazaki, Japan to a Japanese mother, Mieko, and British father, Stu, living predominantly in Japan but spending considerable time in the US being coached by stars like renown skateboarder Tony Hawk.
Hawk has called Brown a “unicorn” and repeatedly stressed her potential as a confident and skilled female skateboarder.
Coming from a family of skateboarders and fans of the sport, Brown has been supported by her parents and family throughout her career as she soared to the position of number three world rank in the sport.
In 2019, Brown finished third at the World Skateboarding Championship, and the following year she effectively secured her Olympic qualification by picking up a bronze medal at the Park World Championships in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Why is Sky Brown competing for Team GB?
Due to her dual British-Japanese nationality, Sky Brown had the choice of which national team she could represent in championships like the Olympic Games, with the skateboarding prodigy being selected to compete for Great Britain in 2018.
Rather than compete for Japan, Brown opted to skate for Team GB due to feeling that the British Skateboarding Association would place less pressure on the star than the team’s Japanese counterpart.
Brown had also expressed her ambition to achieve the almost unprecedented feat of competing in two sports - skateboarding and surfing - at the Games, something from which she was subsequently dissuaded.
The skateboarding star posted on Instagram prior to competing in the women’s park skateboarding final on Wednesday, uploading an image of herself skating at the Tokyo Olympics with the following caption: "Today I’m excited to show the world how beautiful and creative Skateboarding really is.
“I’m excited for people to see how much FUN it is. And I get to do this with my best friends.
Brown added: “I hope there’s some littles girls out there watching this and thinking I can do this too”
Additional reporting by PA Olympics Correspondent Mark Staniforth