13-year-old Momiji Nishiya just became the second youngest Olympic gold winner ever
[July 26, 2021: Rebecca Shavit]
Nishiya celebrates gold in the street skateboarding final. (CREDIT: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images)
Japan’s Momiji Nishiya became the second youngest champion in summer Olympic history by winning gold in the Tokyo Olympic's inaugural women’s skateboarding street competition.
At only 13 years and 330 days, Nishiya is just a couple of months older than Marjorie Gestring was when American diver won gold in 1936. Gestring was 13 years and 268 days old when she competed in the Berlin Olympics.
Nishiya moved into the gold medal position with her fifth and last trick in Monday’s final.
Nishiya wasn’t the only teenager on the podium on Monday. She was joined by Rayssa Leal, 13, and countrywoman Funa Nakayama, 16. Nishiya's score of 15.26 beat out Leal (14.64) and Nakayama (14.49).
Like Nishiya, Leal also became the youngest medal winner for Brazil, her home country. The trio made up the youngest podium in the history of the Games.
“I’m simply very, very delighted. I am so happy,” Nishiya told reporters, adding that she felt her success had “nothing to do with her age.”
“I didn’t think I could win, but everyone around me cheered me on so I’m glad I was able to find my groove,” said Nishiya, who gave the host nation a sweep of gold medals in the street event.
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