Two Japanese athletes win first-ever Olympic skateboarding gold medals in history
By Ryan General
July 26, 2021
Two Japanese skaters became the first-ever Olympic gold medalists for skateboarding during the sport’s debut at the Ariake Urban Sports Park in the Tokyo Games over the weekend.
First skateboarding men’s street gold: Yuto Horigome, 22, won his historic medal over silver medalist Kelvin Hoefler (Brazil) and bronze winner Jagger Eaton (U.S.), reported ESPN.
- Each skater had a pair of 45-second runs going through an obstacle course of rails, benches and ramps during the event.
- Horigome, the only finalist to score nines in all of the counted tricks, secured the win by consistently landing his tricks down a 12-step, three-rail staircase.
- His highest-scoring stunt involved a trick called a nollie 270 noseslide, earning a 9.5 score by flipping the board from under him upon takeoff and sliding it down a jagged rail on its nose.
- After his victory, Horigome told the press that practicing in the streets made him an Olympic champion.
- Horigome, who started skateboarding at 7 years old in a park not far from the current Olympic venue, said he is on a mission to show “how skateboarding is fun.”
First skateboarding women’s street gold: Momiji Nishiya, 13, not only bagged the inaugural women’s skateboarding gold medal, but she also became the second-youngest champion (after U.S.’ Marjorie Gestring in 1936) in summer Olympics history, reported The Guardian.
- Nishiya finished with a score of 15.26, putting her ahead over silver medalist Rayssa Leal (Brazil), another 13-year-old, who scored 14.64.
- Another Japanese skater, 16-year-old Funa Nakayama, completed the youngest podium in Olympic history by scoring 14.49 to take the bronze medal.
- “I didn’t think I could win, but everyone around me cheered me on, so I’m glad I was able to find my groove,” Nishiya was quoted as saying after the event.
Twitter reactions to skateboarding event: The newly added Olympic sport sparked some debate on social media.
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