Sky Brown: After one of the defining moments of the Tokyo Olympics, Team GB has its brightest new star
hatever happens over the last days of these Olympics, this will be one of Tokyo 2020’s defining moments.
Not just from a British perspective as Sky Brown became the nation’s youngest Olympic medallist in history.
But on a day when Tokyo was rocked by an earthquake measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale, it was equally seismic for the two Japanese athletes with which she shared the podium on skateboard’s Games debut.
Brown came back from the brink, falling on her opening two runs to produce a final run of maturity under insurmountable pressure which defied her 13 years. The gold, silver and bronze boasted a combined aged of 43 – older than many watching awestruck from the stands.
Sakura Yosozumi, almost a veteran of the sport at 19, won the gold with fellow Japanese skateboarder Kokona Hiraki becoming the youngest Olympic medallist in history at 12 with silver. So youthful are Brown and Hiraki, they are currently deemed too young to compete at the Youth Olympics.
Skateboarding’s Olympic introduction is an attempt to bring new blood into the Games, more in terms of spectators. It also had that effect on an eight-woman final in which just one was born outside of this century.
This was the Olympics 2.0 with a DJ named Redbeard playing out music to accompany each run, the competitors at times unaware of the magnitude of the occasion. IOC president Thomas Bach was not, on hand to speak to Brown in the aftermath. Asked what Bach had said, refreshingly she replied “who?”
On the hottest day of these Tokyo Olympics, the heat seemed to reflect off the concrete course as each competitor defied both the temperatures and the pressure of the occasion.
At times, they made it look as those they were skating with friends at their local park, cheering for each other’s runs and embracing each other.
Ahead of Brown’s final outing, the gold medallist told her British rival “you’ve got it”, words which calmed her down.