The sun shone on some of the youngest Olympians as Japan's Sakura Yosozumi took home gold in the first-ever women's park skateboarding.
The 19-year-old and Kokona Hiraki, 12, gained an early lead, scoring 60.09 and 58.05 respectively in the first round, and no one was able to come close to their score. Hiraki almost lost her silver medal position after falling within the first few seconds of her final run, scoring a 5.70. Hiraki's silver medal score came in the second round with 59.04.
Great Britain's Sky Brown was the favorite heading into the competition, but the 13-year-old is bringing home the bronze thanks to a big-time finish with a final score of 56.47. She immediately dropped to her knees while still riding her board. Team USA's Bryce Wettstein, ended in sixth with her highest score coming from her full first run (the only one where she did not fall), ran ahead of several of the other Olympians to give Brown a hug.
Japan's Misugu Okamoto was the final skater, but with five seconds to go, the 15-year-old lost her footing and fell. And even though she finished just outside of the medal positions, Okamoto was lifted by Australia's Poppy Olsen and Wettstein as true sportsmanship was on full display by all competitors who crushed Okamoto in a hug.
It was a single moment that captured the big picture of Wednesday's competition.
As the young women whose ages ranged from from 12 to 23 performed on sports' biggest stage, they found the time to support one another, whether it was a quick hug between runs or patting another competitor's helmet. They sported megawatt smiles, even if they fell. Because like Wettstein previously wrote on her website, making the Olympics “does not define me or skateboarding.”
"And Tokyo 2021 will come and go," the 16-year-old wrote, "but skateboarding will keep going on forever."
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