Tokyo skateboarding prodigy Funa Nakayama has broken new ground as the first Asian woman to ever grace the cover of Thrasher magazine.
Cover girl: The cover showcases the 17-year-old’s impressive skills, with the image capturing her mid-grind along a handrail at the iconic 16-step stairway of skate spot Hollywood High in Los Angeles.
The shot, taken last October, captured Nakayama performing her signature move, the frontside crooked grind.
“Trying out a trick at Hollywood High allowed me to see firsthand how challenging it is to perform it on the street,” she shared. “It may be difficult to have everyone understand it, but I would like various people to realize how cool street skating is, too.”
Historic appearance: Nakayama’s cover on the magazine’s January issue comes after fellow Japanese skateboarder Yuto Horigome became the first Japanese athlete to appear on the cover of Thrasher after he secured gold at the 2021 Summer Games.
“I never imagined I would grace the same cover that showcased Mr. Horigome,” Nakayama was quoted saying.
Confidence, social media boost: After the cover’s release, Nakayama experienced a surge in her social media following, with global skateboarding fans congratulating her for the honor. She also noted that her appearance in the magazine had helped her become more confident in her own abilities.
Nakayama, who won a bronze medal in the women’s street competition at the Tokyo Olympics, is set to compete in the 2024 Paris Olympics.