Sky Brown has made history as she became Great Britain’s youngest ever Olympic medallist after securing a bronze in the skateboarding, but this isn’t the first time the 13-year-old has achieved sporting greatness.
Skateboarder and social media sensation Sky Brown was left overjoyed this week after she received a prestigious bronze medal in the women’s park skateboarding at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. This already impressive achievement is made all the more extraordinary given that this was not only Sky’s Olympic debut, but that she is still a teenager, with many years of sporting glory still ahead of her.
The Tokyo Games saw five new sports added to the 33 already existing Olympic events, one of which was Sky Brown’s favored event—skateboarding. Now presented with the opportunity to show just what she can do on the world stage, Sky well and truly seized the chance. However, for some Olympic viewers this won’t be the first time they’ve seen the teenage medallist on screen.
But how old is Sky Brown, does she speak Japanese and where have you seen her before? We reveal all you need to know about Team GB’s youngest star...
How old is Sky Brown?
Sky Brown might have already achieved more than many adults could dream of, but the newly-crowned Olympic bronze medallist is just 13-year-old. Born in Miyazaki, Japan, she and her parents, mom Mieko and dad, Stu, split their time between her hometown and California. A skater himself, Stu settled in the United States after moving from the UK in his teens and met Mieko in Japan before the couple went on to have their two children, Sky and her brother Ocean.
It’s understood that it was Stu who first introduced Sky to skateboarding whilst he was competing as an amateur and balancing his own sporting career with his work in marketing.
As reported by The Telegraph, it was after Stu posted an adorable video of Sky demonstrating beginner moves on a mini-ramp on social media that people really took notice of her immense talent. After it went viral, Sky and Ocean were invited on chat shows across the world, though the sporting star has revealed that it was never Stu’s intention that his daughter would turn professional.
“My dad didn’t want me to skate,” Sky is said to have told The Telegraph. “I was about two or three. There was the backyard mini ramp which he built and his friends were skating every day. The skateboard was my favourite toy.”
Learning her tricks from YouTube, Sky has reportedly never had an official skateboarding coach and skated in her first Olympic qualifier at Long Beach when she was just 10.
Is Sky Brown Great Britain’s youngest Olympic medalist?
After winning her coveted bronze medal, Sky Brown became Great Britain’s youngest ever Olympic medalist after already being the youngest member of Team GB this year. In achieving this, Sky, who is 13 years and 23 days, broke Margery Hinton’s 93-year record from when she competed in the swimming in the 1928 Games at 13 years and 43 days old.
Speaking after her third place position was secured, Sky told BBC Sport, "It was a super sick final. All the girls were ripping it, it was insane.”
"This is incredible—it feels unreal! I'm so happy to be here—I'm blessed,” she continued. "I was definitely bumped. I fell twice, that made the last run feel even better."
After making a few mistakes on her first two runs, Sky’s brilliantly composed final run pushed her up from fourth place into the bronze medal position with a score of 56.47.
What is the minimum age for the Olympics?
Sky Brown’s Olympic debut might well have left fans wondering what the minimum age is for an athlete to compete in the Olympics. According to the official Olympic website, there is no universal age limit in place for the Games.
Each International Sports Federation and the rules it lays down for its sport determining this. Gymnasts, such as superstar Simone Biles, who recently confirmed her return to the Olympic Games, must be 16 or above in order to compete.
Similarly, boxers must be 18 before they may fight at the Olympics, though thankfully for Sky, skateboarding is one of the sports without a minimum age requirement.
Does Sky Brown speak Japanese?
Having been born and brought up in Japan, it might come as no surprise to fans that Sky Brown’s first language is Japanese. And whilst she splits her time between Japan and California, attending school there two days a week, it seems that coming back to Japan still fills Sky with delight.
Upon returning to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Sky reportedly declared, “I'm so happy to be back in Japan and eat Japanese food and speak Japanese, it feels like home.”
Sky Brown won Dancing With the Stars Juniors
Whilst Sky Brown might not have secured an Olympic victory in her debut appearance, she did come an impressive first place in another hotly-contested sporting event. When she was just 10 years old, Sky and her junior professional dance partner JT Church danced their way to being crowned winners of the first ever Dancing With the Stars: Juniors.
And even then, skateboarding played a part, as during the finale, Sky entered the dancefloor on her skateboard, delighting the audience with a trick, before she and JT danced a salsa to Light It Up by Major Lazar with their mentor, Alan Bersten.
The pair also paid tribute to Sky’s other sporting passion—surfing—as they took to the dance floor in matching Hawaiian shirts. After being announced as the winners, Sky dropped to the ground in surprise, before crying tears of joy as she and JT lifted the Mirror Star Trophy.
Tweeting her gratitude to her fans after her win, Sky wrote, 'There are NO words, the picture says it all. I just wanna say Thankyou!! To everyone that supported me and my team that help me believe in myself I Can’t believe it, we WON the First Ever @dwtsjuniors'.
There are NO words, the picture says it all. I just wanna say Thankyou!! To everyone that supported me and my team that help me believe in myself 😭❤️ I Can’t believe it, we WON the First Ever @dwtsjuniors @jt_church & @alanbersten This is ALL because of you guys, it the best! pic.twitter.com/RFxbXf7taPDecember 10, 2018
'This is ALL because of you guys, it the best! @jt_church @alanbersten', she added, thanking her partner and mentor.
Once again Sky was the youngest finalist and here too, she showed her immense talent to the world. Now fans will just have to wait until Paris 2024 to see if Sky Brown will secure her first Olympic gold medal!
Sign up to our free daily email for the latest royal and entertainment news, interesting opinion, expert advice on styling and beauty trends, and no-nonsense guides to the health and wellness questions you want answered.
Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use , Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!
The most iconic royal romances, from Prince William and Kate Middleton to Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip
Want to hear about a real-life fairytale? These are the most iconic royal romances...
By Lauren Clark Published
Wendy Williams diagnosed with progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia aged 59
Spokespeople for Wendy shared details of her recent decline in health and aphasia and dementia diagnosis
By Laura Harman Published