Sky Brown becomes youngest Team GB summer Olympian in history

Before the Tokyo Olympics were postponed, Sky Brown was originally set to make the Games at 12 years old. (Usa Today Sports)

Team Great Britain has a new Olympian to add to their roster, and she’s the youngest athlete to ever represent the team at a summer Olympics. Sky Brown will make her Olympic debut the same year that her sport of choice, skateboarding, also makes its debut. 

At the time of the Games, Brown will be 13 years and 11 days old. 

Margery Hinton, who was 13 years and 44 days old when she swam in the 1928 Olympics, was previously Team GB’s youngest Olympian. Brown was just 12 years old when she qualified for the Tokyo Games last month. During the inaugural skateboarding events in Tokyo, the young Olympian will compete alongside 14-year-old teammate Bombette Martin.

Although Brown may barely be a teenager, don’t underestimate her ability to win big at the Tokyo Games. Ranked No. 3 in the world in women’s park skateboarding, Brown is likely a medal contender. In May, she took home the silver at the Dew Tour, and she placed third at the World Championships in Rio de Janeiro the previous season.

Despite her international titles, Brown’s road to the Olympics was rife with setbacks and injuries. Last year, she sustained a skull fracture, broken wrist, and broken hand after a training accident in California that left her unresponsive. After making a full recovery, she set her eyes on making the Olympic team. 

While Brown is representing Team GB, her American accent suggests otherwise. The Anglo-Japanese skater splits her time between the United States and Japan, but has a British father. Coming from a family of skateboarders, Brown was introduced to the sport at a young age.

In lieu of traditional coaching, Brown turned to YouTube to learn most of her notable tricks. At age 8, she became the youngest person to ever participate in the Vans U.S. Open Pro Series. Two years later, she officially became the youngest professional skateboarder in the world. 

When she’s not practicing at the skate park or in her backyard, Brown can be found surfing or dancing. The multifaceted contestant took home the trophy in the only season of “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors.”

In Tokyo, skateboarding will be divided into two categories: street and park. The former includes a route fraught with rails, slopes, benches and stairs, while the latter takes place in a smooth, steep bowl. Both events are judged on style, tricks, originality and difficulty.

Skateboarding competition begins on July 25.