See 13-Year-Old Skateboarder Momiji Nishiya Make Olympics History With Gold Medal Performance

Skateboarding finally made its debut at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics—and the winning teens did not disappoint. Get to know Momiji Nishiya and the trailblazing girls set to become legends in the sport.

By Elana Rubin Jul 26, 2021 6:21 PMTags
Watch: 2020 Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony: Must-See Moments

You know Tony Hawk. Now, meet Momiji Nishiya, skateboarding's next legend.

At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the 13-year-old—yes, she's 13 and yes, we feel old—nabbed the gold medal in women's street skateboarding. The win not only makes the Japanese athlete one of the youngest in Olympics history but also the first to win in this event, which was introduced to the games this year.

"I'm simply very, very delighted," she told reporters after her win, noting she couldn't wait to celebrate with Japanese yakiniku barbecue. "I am so happy." (Don't worry, her mom has happily agreed to fulfill this request.)

Trailing behind Momiji was Brazil's Rayssa Leal, also 13, who won the silver medal and Japan's 16-year-old Funa Nakayama, who took home bronze. "We made history," Rayssa shared on her Instagram. "I can't explain everything I'm going through." Both Momiji—who hopes to compete at the 2024 Paris Olympics—and Rayssa are now the youngest athletes to win Olympic medals for their countries.

2020 Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony

For American skateboarder Mariah Duran—who also competed at the Olympics—she hopes young girls watching at home feel inspired. "It's going to change the whole game," she told the Associated Press via Sports Illustrated

"This is like opening at least one door to, you know, many skaters who are having the conversations with their parents, who want to start skating," she continued. "I'm not surprised if there's probably already like 500 girls getting a board today."

As for Brazil's Leticia Bufoni, she wants to be that role model. As she told NBC News, "I want be that girl that the little girls can show their parents and be like, 'She can skate. I want to be like her.'"

Check out E! News' 2022 Beijing Olympics homepage for news, photos and more.