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Sky Brown: British skateboarder, 12, set to qualify for Tokyo Games less than a year after fracturing skull

Written by on 24 May 2021

Schoolgirl skateboarder Sky Brown has finished second in a Tokyo Games qualifier, placing her in line to be selected for Great Britain’s Olympic team this summer.

Less than a year ago, the 12-year-old suffered life-threatening injuries in a training fall which meant undergoing surgery for a fractured skull, broken wrist and hand.

But at the weekend, Sky put in one of the best competition runs of her career to secure second place in a competition in Iowa, which has put her in line for selection for Team GB.

She will find out on 1 July if she has been given the nod to represent her country.

RJ - Rio de Janeiro - 17/11/2019 - OI STU Open final - Rio de Janeiro - Sky Brown skater performs maneuver during Park Women's Final at STU Open Skate, held in Barra da Tijuca, west of the city . Photo: Thiago Ribeiro / AGIF Image: Sky hopes to replace swimmer Margery Hinton as Britain’s youngest summer Olympian. Pic: AP

Sky is the youngest competitor on the international circuit and is currently ranked third in the world overall.

For most of her boarding career she did not have a coach, instead, learning tricks from YouTube.

More on Tokyo Olympics, 2021

She is sponsored by Nike, making her the brand’s youngest athlete in the world and in her last international competition in Rio de Janeiro, Sky took the bronze medal.

The women’s Park event at the Tokyo Olympics will see 20 athletes compete – three from the world championships, 16 from the Olympic World Skate rankings and one from host nation Japan.

Sky hopes to replace swimmer Margery Hinton as Britain’s youngest summer Olympian. Hinton was 13 years and 43 days old when she competed at the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam.

Cecilia Colledge remains Britain’s youngest Olympian, the figure skater competing at the 1932 Winter Olympics aged 11.

Team GB and Skateboard GB will make its final team announcement once World Skate announces the final qualifying athletes.

James Hope-Gill, chief executive at Skateboard GB, said “We are hugely proud of Sky’s achievement at Dew Tour [in Iowa].

“She has amazed us all and has continued to get better and better throughout the Olympic qualifying season.

“This is her first international competition in over 18 months and she has proved she is one of the best in the world.”

Earlier this month, a number of Japanese towns dropped plans to host Olympic athletes – in what is a further indication of the disruption that could affect the Games.

More than 500 towns are registered to host international Olympians for training camps and cultural exchanges before Tokyo 2020 starts.

However, 40 towns have abandoned plans, concerned they will overburden medical resources amid a fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic.