The 2nd Youngest Skater in the Competition Circuit
The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan are shaping up to be an incredible event. For the first time in it’s history, the Olympic Games will feature skateboarding, and Braille Skateboarding couldn’t be any happier!
We’ve always believed in pushing skateboarding all around the world, and to see this global push for skateboarding in the Olympics truly is a massive leap toward that goal. At last, the world will be able to see the athleticism, talent, creativity and dedication possessed by the top skateboarders from all around the globe.
20 skaters are slated to compete in each division; Men’s Park, Men’s Street, Women’s Park, and Women’s Street. With only 80 skateboarders able to earn a spot at the Olympics, the qualifying seasons leading up to the Games have been extremely competitive.
Currently at the top of the leaderboards in the Women’s Park division is one of the youngest skaters in the competition. This is 13 year-old, Misugu Okamoto.
With the final qualifying season still underway, the Olympic World Skateboarding Rankings may have a shake-up by the time the 2020 Olympics roll around. However, with such a commanding lead, Braille Skateboarding is confident we will be seeing Misugu Okamoto not only compete, but also earn herself an Olympic medal!
In this blog, we’ll take a look at Misugu Okamoto’s incredible skateboarding career and shine a light on her most notable contest results from recent Olympic qualifying contests.
We also had the opportunity to conduct a brief interview with Misugu Okamoto. So be sure to continue reading to find out what the future-Olympian had to say in our short but sweet interview!
Who Is Misugu Okamoto?
Misugu Okamoto was born on June 22, 2006 in Aichi Prefecture, Japan. That’s right, she’s only 13 years old and is going for the Gold in the Olympics!
She picked up skateboarding at the age of 8 and quickly progressed as a regular-footed vert/park skater. It didn’t take Okamoto long to start competing alongside the best skateboarders in the world. It’s clear that from a very young age, she knew she wanted to be a professional skateboarder.
In 2018, she picked up a third place finish at the 18th Asian Games Japan Women’s Park Championships. Not even four years into skateboarding and performing at a world class level, Misugu Okamoto was, and still is, destined for skateboarding greatness.
What has Misugu Okamoto been up to lately?
Misugu Okamoto is currently ranked 1st in the Olympic World Skateboarding Rankings for Women’s Park with 180,000 points. Over the past Qualifying Season, she’s been making a name for herself and racking up numerous 1st place finishes.
- World Skate Oi STU Open Women’s Park Finals 2019 (1st place)
- Vans Park Series Asia Regionals Women’s Finals 2019 (1st place)
- World Skate Sao Paulo Park World Championships, 2019 (1st place)
- X Games Minneapolis, 2019 (1st place)
- International Skateboarding Open Women’s Park Finals, 2019 (1st place)
These aren’t even all of them! In fact, since May of 2018 Misugu has competed in 16 pro-level skateboarding competitions. Out of those 16, she placed first in 11 of those events. That’s really mind blowing, especially at such a young age. And even then, the lowest she placed was 6th.
She’s even been able to pick up some sponsors. These include 6556, DC Shoes, Division, Hi Five skatepark, Santa Cruz, and Triforce.
With so many first place finishes, it’s almost inevitable that we’ll see Misugu at the Olympics. With that being said, we’re in the middle of the second Qualifying Season, so there could be some chances. But, we don’t see her slowing down anytime soon!
Before we get to our interview with Misugu Okamoto, check out some of the videos below of her shredding the park. This will give you a better understanding of why she’s in first place for women’s park.
An Interview With Misugo Okamoto
Misugu Okamoto and her team were kind enough to do a short interview with us. Here’s what she had to say!
Q: How old were you when you first started skateboarding, and who was your biggest influence?
A: I started skating when I was 8 years old and my biggest influence was Kent Sasaoka and Kensuke Sasaoka. They still inspire me a lot!
Q: What is your favorite trick to do?
A: Definitely big Backside airs.
Q: Are there any tricks you are working on that you haven’t landed yet?
A: That’s a secret.
Q: With the 2020 Olympics coming to Japan, do you feel any added pressure compared to other contests?
A: No not really, I just try to look at it as another contest.
Q: Besides skateboarding, do you have any other hobbies or interests?
A: I like to read.
Q: What advice would you give to a beginner skateboarder who wants to improve?
A: Keep having fun with skateboarding. We are all in it because it’s fun.
Q: Also, congratulations on your recent win at the Oi STU Open in Brazil this past November. Your run in the Finals included a huge backside 540, and the nicest kickflip-indy I’ve ever seen! Was there any strategy involved with doing the 540 so soon into your run and saving the kickflip-indy for the end?
A: Thank you! Strategy for contests are directed by the TRIFORCE KREW. I just focus on execution of my line/routine.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: Keep on pushing and stay competitive at a global level.
Braille Skateboarding wants to thank Misugu Okamoto and her team once again for taking the time to talk. We can’t wait to see Okamoto compete at the Olympics. We look forward to following along with her skateboarding career and watching her progress over the years!
Though most of us will simply be watching the Olympics, Braille Skateboarding knows that some of you dream of competing at the Olympics one day. We can help you achieve that goal! Check out Skateboarding Made Simple in our Online Shop.
It’s the most detailed lesson plan for skateboarding in existence, and you will surely improve your skills after watching and studying our SMS tutorials. With 9 different volumes, you’ll go from learning how to ride on a board, to skating skateparks and landing more advanced flatground tricks…FIRST TRY! Now get out there and skate!
Feature Image Credit: X Games