Sky Brown has told Eurosport that she hopes her medal-winning performance in skateboarding at Tokyo 2020 will inspire others to fulfil their dreams.
Skateboarding was a surprise entry at Tokyo 2020, but it did not disappoint with the performers wowing fans with their performances and winning hearts with how they approached the event.
There was nothing forced about the camaraderie, with the participants urging each other on despite there being medals on the line.
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Brown fell on her first and second runs, but her final effort was superb and it was enough to win her a bronze medal.
Her father was on hand to help lead the celebrations, and 48 hours on Brown is still on a high.
“This is insane,” Brown told Eurosport. “It still feels like a dream. I am really happy and so thankful.”
The X Games winner is hopeful her achievements at the age of 13 will result in other people taking a step forward.
“I wanted to inspire,” Brown said. “I feel like some people are definitely scared to get out there.
I hope that if they see a little girl in the Olympics getting a medal, they can do it too.
The spirit of competition was exceptional, with the skaters quick to celebrate or commiserate depending on how well their competitors’ runs had gone.
Skateboarding in its purest form is not about competition, and that was evidenced by the spontaneous breakout of song ahead of the final.
United States’ Bryce Wettstein pulled out a ukulele and belted out John Denver’s Take Me Home, Country Roads.
She was not alone, with Bombette Martin, Poppy Starr, Dora Varella, Yndiara Asp and Brown helping with the chorus.
The friendships are in no way false or forced, as Brown added: "Skateboarding is one big family. You cannot skate alone, you have to skate together with friends to push yourself and push each other. It is so much fun skating with friends.
We never want the other people to fall, we never want them to fall, we always want them to make it. It makes you feel good and makes you try harder.
Brown suffered serious injuries in a fall last year, but she never had any doubts about returning to skateboarding.
“I just wanted to get back on my board," Brown said. "Falling is part of life, and sometimes bad ones might happen. But that shouldn't stop you. You have just got to keep going.
“I feel like I am free on the board. There are no rules to skateboarding. You just do some tricks and put your own style on it.”
Brown had hoped to double up at Tokyo 2020 in surfing, but was persuaded to focus on one event.
That may change at Paris 2020, as Brown said: “I wanted to do surfing as well. Hopefully in the next Olympics I can do them both.”
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