The first ever Women’s Street Skating Olympic event was held on Monday 26 July 2021 at the Ariake Urban Sports Stadium in Tokyo Japan, but most of us tuned in at 8:30pm Sunday night back here in the USA. There were twenty female athletes who qualified to compete in the Street Skateboarding Event. These women were from all over the world with the three from Brazil being favored to medal (Pamela Rosa, Leticia Bufoni and Rayssa Leal).
The full list of female competitors was:
- Andrea Benitez, Spain.
- Annie Guglia, Canada.
- Keet Oldenbeuving, Netherlands.
- Asia Lanzi, Italy.
- Mariah Duran, United States.
- Margielyn Didal, Philippines.
- Hayley Wilson, Australia.
- Julia Brueckler, Austria
- Roos Zwetsloot, Netherlands.
- Aori Nishimura, Japan.
- Momiji Nishiya, Japan.
- Pamela Rosa, Brazil.
- Alana Smith, United States.
- Funa Nakayama, Japan.
- Charlotte Hym, France.
- Lore Bruggeman, Belgium.
- Rayssa Leal, Brazil.
- Leticia Bufoni, Brazil.
- Alexis Sablone, United States.
- Wenhui Zeng, China.
What struck me most while watching was the incredible range in ages of these athletes, we saw 13 year olds going up against a 34 year old. I also noticed that helmets, while mandatory for those athletes under the age of 18, were mostly set aside by the older competitors. They must have had some good luck charms in them as all three medalist were under the age of 18! The Gold Medal winner, Momiji Nishiya from Japan pulled out an amazing final trick on her last attempt to secure enough points to get her the Gold. Both Rayssa Leal (Brazil) and Funa Nakayama (Japan) had falls in several best trick attempts, but landed 2 solid tricks to stand on the podium for Silver and Bronze. Alexis Sablone gave it her all and was at one point in medal position, but then failed to land her final best trick run thus forcing her to keep a prior low score.
Most of the athletes did not land their best trick runs which makes one wonder if they had tried a slightly easier trick and landed it, would they have gotten a better score and then won a medal, but is that then truly a “Best Trick”? If Skateboarding does continue to be an Olympic event in the 2024 Paris Games, will the format remain the same and if so, will the lessons learned in Tokyo help future competitors plan a more strategic routine?
The Final results were as follows:
- Gold: Momiji Nishiya, Japan (15.26)
- Silver: Rayssa Leal, Brazil (14.64)
- Bronze: Funa Nakayama, Japan (14.49)
- 4th: Alexis Sablone, United States (13.57)
- 5th: Roos Zwetsloot, Netherlands (11.26)
- 6th: Zeng Wenhui, China (9.66)
- 7th: Margielyn Didal, Philippines (7.52)
- 8th: Aori Nishimura, Japan (6.92)
Photo credits: Getty / Ezra Shaw