SHARJAH – Britain’s 14-year-old Olympic medallist Sky Brown struck gold at the World Championships Skateboard Park competition in Sharjah, the United Arab Emirates, on Sunday.
It was the first qualifying event for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and Brown’s high score of 90.83 was enough to give her the gold. Japan’s Kokona Hiraki (86.66) was second, while her compatriot and reigning Olympic champion Sakura Yosozumi (85.15) was third.
“Being on the podium with these guys again is so crazy. I just thought whatever happens I am just going to enjoy it. Landing all my runs was an amazing feeling,” Brown told Sky Sports.
She added: “I’m so stoked to be in this position. I’m so thankful for everything, having an amazing support, having all my supporters just cheer me on all the time giving me the best fire ever. I’m just thankful to have the people around me and thankful to be here.”
Brown’s teammate Lola Tambling, who is also 14, finished sixth.
Said Brown: “I am so proud of her. She used a bunch of things not many other girls use and I was just so stoked for her you know and Team GB – it was really sick.”
Brown won the bronze in the park competition at the Tokyo Games, where she became Britain’s youngest summer Olympian.
In May 2020, she suffered skull fractures and a broken wrist and hand after she fell from a half-pipe in southern California.
She was taken by helicopter to the hospital, where she underwent surgery, and her father Stewart later said she was lucky to be alive.
Brown feels the harrowing experience has only added fuel to her considerable fire.
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” she said in 2021.
“It just made me feel like I want to push harder, go stronger and show that even if you fall, you’ve got to get back up.”
“I love surfing as much as I love skating. That would be my dream,” added Brown, who has excelled on both boards from an early age.
Both surfing and skateboarding will be contested at the Paris Olympics in 2024. REUTERS