The agonisingly cool Sky Brown surfs, skateboards and dances, and hopes to become Britain’s youngest ever summer Olympian by appearing at the Tokyo Games next year – she’ll be just 12.

Born in Miyazaki, Japan, to a British father and Japanese mother, Sky will be named as part of Great Britain’s skateboarding team aiming for the Olympics when it is announced on Thursday.

And, although there is still the small matter of qualifying to overcome, Sky doesn’t seem to let barriers bother her.

“I just want to get out there, have fun and I don’t really know who I’m competing with or any of that stuff,” she told BBC Sport.

As you would expect from a surfer, Sky has a pretty laid-back attitude to life, but don’t let that fool you – she is as determined as they come.

“I feel like it doesn’t matter how old you are,” she added. “I’m tiny and I’m going to be in this huge competition! You can do anything, no matter what age you are.

“Sometimes I just want to beat myself and I want to do what boys do. Why do boys get to have all the fun? I think girls can do whatever boys can do.”

Sky, who lives in Miyazaki but spends much of the year in the US, first came to public notice when she became Nike’s youngest signing, with giant posters of the pint-sized skater appearing in stores all over the United States.

She also appeared in their most recent campaign, featuring icons of women’s sport, including gymnast Simone Biles, and athletes Caster Semenya and Dina Asher-Smith.

Nike advert
Spot the iconic sports women: Sky, front, with her fellow Nike athletes including Alex Morgan, Caster Semenya, Dina Asher-Smith and Simone Biles

In 2016, aged eight, Sky became the youngest person ever to compete at the Vans US Open, and although she did not take home a medal, she still placed higher than women 20 years older than her.

In February, she won gold at Simple Session, a senior women’s competition in Tallin, Estonia, on a park course designed for men twice her size.

And to skating and surfing can be added dancing – Sky won the US equivalent of Strictly Come Dancing for kids – ‘Dancing with the Stars: Juniors’ – in December 2018.

The added exposure has given her a wide reach on Instagram – she has 300,000 followers so far.

And she has turned her high profile to the cause of the less fortunate.

Having visited Cambodia with her parents, she was inspired to help children her age without access to clean water and education.

In a collaboration with a board manufacturer and charity partner, Sky designed a skateboard, with the profits of the sales going to fund skate schools for underprivileged children in poorer areas of the world.

Her board has so far raised over $17,000 (around £13,000).

“My dream is to keep on travelling around the world, keep skating, keep surfing and keep being a kid. I especially want to go to underprivileged countries and help those kids.”

Travelling the world, skating, surfing, encouraging young women to push boundaries while using her extraordinary ability and profile to raise money for good causes – Sky Brown could be her generation’s icon.

Categories: SPORTS

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