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Brilliant Brown makes more Olympic history to send skateboarding shockwaves through Tokyo

·4-min read
Eleven-year-old skateboarder Sky Brown trains to become Britain's youngest summer Olympian at a skatepark in Huntington Beach, California, U.S., September 20, 2019. Picture taken September 20, 2019.    REUTERS/Mike Blake     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Brown, 13, captured hearts on Wednesday morning with a brilliant Tokyo bronze

By James Toney in Tokyo

Sky Brown became Britain's youngest Olympic medallist of all-time with a brilliant bronze in Tokyo.

The Japanese capital was shuddered into life by an early morning earthquake tremor but it was the skateboarding teens who sent shockwaves through these Games.

Japan's Sakura Yosozumi and Kokona Hiraki, aged 19 and 12, took gold and silver and Brown - 13 years and 23 days - held her nerve to complete the podium.

Cecilia Colledge, who won figure skating silver aged 15 years and 97 days in 1936, was previous Britain's youngest Olympic medallist, with swimmer Sarah Hardcastle just a few days older when she won silver and bronze at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.

TOKYO 2020 OLYMPICS: 13-YEAR-OLD BROWN TAKES MEDAL, MCLAUGHLIN SMASHES WORLD RECORD ON TRACK - MORNING UPDATE
TOKYO 2020 OLYMPICS: 13-YEAR-OLD BROWN TAKES MEDAL, MCLAUGHLIN SMASHES WORLD RECORD ON TRACK - MORNING UPDATE

Three runs decided the final, with the best score counting. Brown twice fell attempting her signature trip, a Kickflip Indy, but nailed it at the third and final time of asking, after encouraging words from coach and father Stuart.

“My Dad told me 'it’s just a contest, if you fall it doesn’t define you'. I mean honestly that made me feel better," she said after a competition broadcast live on Eurosport and Discovery+.

“Sakura (Yosozumi – gold medallist) said ‘you’ve got it Sky, I know you’re going to make it’.

“I was a little nervous but I’m happy to be here and honestly I just wanted to land my trick. I didn’t really care what place I got, I wanted to land my trick.

“I’m so stoked, I can’t believe it. I'm so happy to be on the podium with these guys, it's just insane. The medal feels unreal, it’s like a dream. I can’t wait to show it to my family and friends."

Brown splits her time between her home in California and Japan and qualifies for Team GB courtesy of her British father, her grandparents watching from their home in the New Forest.

“I did speak to my mum and my brother and my mum was crying," added Brown.

TOKYO 2020 OLYMPICS - 'HE'S DONE IT!' - TEAM GB'S GILES SCOTT WINS SECOND SUCCESSIVE SAILING GOLD
TOKYO 2020 OLYMPICS - 'HE'S DONE IT!' - TEAM GB'S GILES SCOTT WINS SECOND SUCCESSIVE SAILING GOLD

“I’m so excited to see my brother (Ocean). He really gets me pumped up when I’m in a contest, he screams and shouts, I really wish he was here.”

Just over a year ago the teen was lying in intensive care, her skull fractured in multiple places, her left arm broken, her fingers busted with serious lacerations to both her stomach and lungs.

Both her parents asked her to stop but she insists the accident only fuelled her Olympic ambitions, winning the prestigious X Games title just weeks before arriving here.

“I honestly feel that accident made me stronger," she said.

"That accident was pretty bad. It was a hard time for my parents and a hard time for a lot of people and coming back and getting the bronze is really cool."

Brown is as passionate about surfing as she is about skateboarding - and hinted she may tackle the double in three years.

“I really hope so. I’m definitely going to try surfing,” she said.

TOKYO 2020 - EMILY CAMPBELL HOPES TO INSPIRE A NEW GENERATION OF WEIGHTLIFTERS WITH OLYMPIC SILVER
TOKYO 2020 - EMILY CAMPBELL HOPES TO INSPIRE A NEW GENERATION OF WEIGHTLIFTERS WITH OLYMPIC SILVER

However, dad Stu insisted the first job would be to keep this high-flying teen’s feet on the ground - no easy task.

With over a million followers on both Instagram and TikTok, Brown is a sporting phenomenon and a marketing dream. She's already released her first book and starred in advertising campaigns alongside sporting A-listers Megan Rapinoe and Serena Williams.

She's also a TV star - winning the American junior version of Strictly, aged 11, and starring in a Discovery documentary, Reaching The Sky.

"She's straight back to school and will do the normal things that families do," Stu said. "We'll take her off social media for a little while.

“Her grandparents were watching in the New Forest. She misses Japan, we have a home here and it's really hard at the moment to get in and out.

"I'm not sure about surfing in Paris, she loves the sport. It'll be up to her by then, she'll be 16 and it's hard enough now."

Stream every unmissable moment of Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 live on discovery+, the Streaming Home of the Olympics.

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