If you’ve been following the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, you know that skateboarding has been the sport to watch. First, the U.S. team’s retro outfits were awesome to see. Secondly, watching kids – actual kids (13-16 years old) land Olympic medals for their skateboarding tricks is a must-watch.
In fact, skateboarding legend Tony Hawk‘s mind was blown years ago by the very same Olympian who took home silver this year. Team Brazil competitor, 13-year-old Rayssa Leal, landed some incredible tricks during this week’s Olympic event. But a little over five years ago, when Leal was just 8-years-old, Tony Hawk discovered a video of Leal nailing a heelflip trick. The video features Leal wearing a princess dress and fairy wings while attempting one of the most difficult tricks in skateboarding. The video when went viral in 2015 after Tony Hawk tweeted it to his fans.
Along with the video, Hawk wrote, “I don’t know anything about this but it’s awesome: a fairytale heelflip in Brazil by #RayssaLeal (via @oliverbarton).”
The video shows Leal wiping out twice before landing the move. Just goes to show: If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again because you might just end up winning silver at the Olympics.
The Official Olympics Twitter Account Referenced Rayssa Leal’s Video In A Recent Tweet
Rayssa Leal’s video from 2015 went viral again after the Olympics official Twitter account tweeted out photos of Leal from when the video was filmed. The tweet features a side-by-side of 8-year-old Leal and Leal during her recent Olympic event.
Along with the video, they wrote “How it started” with the original photo, and “How it’s going,” with a photo of Leal skateboarding while wearing her Olympic uniform. They then shared an updated tweet when Leal won her silver medal. They added a third photo of Leal wearing her medal and wrote, “Updated.”
What Are Rayssa Leal’s Plans Now That The Games Are Over?
So, how does Rayssa Leal feel about her Olympic win? Obviously winning a medal feels pretty awesome. However, Leal says she’s looking forward to getting back to normal life. During a post-event interview, Leal said that she’s looking forward to being a kid again now that the Olympics are over.
“I want to go back to being the little girl I am,” Leal said. “I don’t want to have responsibility. I want to go on being the lively little girl I am for all of Brazil.”
Japan’s Momiji Nishiya, who is also 13-years-old, came away with gold. But Olympic medals aren’t the only thing the competitors can take home. Both Nishiya and Leal are also their countries’ youngest ever medalists. Now, that’s a title to be proud of! The bronze medal went to Japan’s Funa Nakayama. Nakayama is 16-years-old.