It was a scene straight out of a fairy tale for young Brazillian athlete Rayssa Leal. The 13-year old took home the silver medal in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics in women’s street skateboarding.
Rayssa has come a long way in a short time. Barely a teenager, Rayssa has been earning gold on the internet since she was eight years old. At 8, she went viral for a video in which she was dressed in a teal fairy costume complete with wings, showing off her talents on the skateboard. The video features her repeatedly attempting a heel-flip on a railing in the streets of Imperatriz, Brazil.
Renowned Pro Skateboarder Tony Hawks praised the young girl in 2015 for her skills. Fast forward to today, and Rayssa has shed the wings and replaced them with an Olympic Gold Medal.
Her win wasn’t the only part of her fairy tale dream come true: The Olympic silver medal winner was joined by her idol Tony Hawk at the Tokyo Olympics — Rayssa sharing the moment on her Instagram.
“Six years ago, he introduced me to the world of skateboarding by sharing my video wearing a fairy costume. Today, he filmed me at the Olympics.
This is all so amazing, I’m living a dream! Thank you @tonyhawk to being so kind and always motivating me.”
Hawk replied, “You have exceeded all expectations! It’s been an honor to be involved in some small way.”
The official Olympic Twitter account also got in on celebrating the star athlete. They posted a picture of Rayssa dressed in that fairy costume on the left; on the right was a picture of her competing at the Olympics, following the “how it started – how it’s going” trend. They would later update the tweet with a photo of her win.
Following her win, she spoke in her native Portuguese language, “I want to go back to being the little girl I am. I don’t want to have responsibility. I want to go on being the lively little girl I am for all of Brazil.”
In a male-dominated sport, Rayssa not only competed in the first-ever women’s skateboarding competition, but she is also one of the youngest athletes to win a medal and is the youngest Brazilian to win a medal. Incidentally, the gold medal winner in the sport, Japan’s Momiji Nishiya, is also 13-years old.
Watch the entire women’s street skateboarding Olympic Event Below.