This year, skateboarding became an official Olympic sport, and it didn’t take long for it to make headlines. Tony Hawk reflected on how “surreal” it is to see the sport that he pioneered and helped make famous be elevated to such a prestigious stage. Then, two 13-year-old girls won medals in the first-ever skateboarding event, making news all over the globe.
It turns out it’s not the first time one of them went viral.
Rayssa Leal, a 13-year-old girl from Brazil, won the silver medal in the first women’s street skateboarding event. Leal has a nickname, the “Little Skateboard Fairy” (Fadinha do Skate in Portuguese), that she earned six years ago when footage of her skateboarding in a full-on fairy princess outfit – complete with wings – went viral.
Now she’s the youngest Brazilian to win a medal at the Olympics:
— Olympics (@Olympics) July 26, 2021
Not only did Tony Hawk help pave the way for skateboarding’s respectability, but he also helped Rayssa get her nickname when, six years ago, when he shared the video that made her famous:
I don’t know anything about this but it’s awesome: a fairytale heelflip in Brazil by #RayssaLeal (via @oliverbarton) pic.twitter.com/uZgshHYMMT
— Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) September 8, 2015
She didn’t stop skating, getting better and better until she qualified for and competed in the Olympic Games. And now she has a silver medal.
I bet it will go great with a princess gown.