Sky Brown: Teenage skateboard sensation saddened by plight of Afghan girls, saying ‘girls can do anything that boys can do but even better’

The 13-year-old skateboarder received bronze within the girls’s park last in Tokyo, however as she basks in these blissful recollections, Brown can be troubled by quite a few tales concerning girls in sport which have emerged from Afghanistan because the Taliban takeover.
Each the senior and youth members of the ladies’s soccer groups have been evacuated, with one Taliban official stating that Afghan girls wouldn’t be permitted to take components in sports activities the place they’d be “uncovered.”

“That is simply so unhappy to me,” Brown advised CNN Sport when requested about her work with the nonprofit group Skateistan.

“I am unable to think about why cannot ladies have enjoyable too. We are able to do something that boys can do however why cannot we have now enjoyable? That is simply actually unhappy for me and I actually wish to assist them.”

Focusing on kids in areas the place they’ve restricted entry to sport and training, Skateistan fuses skateboarding with “artistic arts-based training” to “give kids the chance to turn into leaders for a greater world,” in line with the group’s web site.

With a particular concentrate on ladies, kids with disabilities and people from low-income backgrounds, Skateistan has partnered with the British teen skateboarder and boardmaker Nearly — designing a line of distinctive, Brown-inspired skateboards to be offered, with 20% of the proceeds going on to Skateistan.

In keeping with their website, Skateistan primarily focuses on efforts in Cambodia, South Africa and Jordan, however has run a number of initiatives in Afghanistan and has a Skate College in Kabul.

“I wish to present the world that ladies can do something,” added Brown, who has been working with Skateistan since 2017. “Ladies can do something that boys can do however even higher, and I really feel like sport teaches us confidence and independence.

“I hope to do much more in Cambodia and Afghanistan, even in England — simply in all places.”

Brown poses with her Olympic bronze at Ariake Urban Sports Park.

For Brown, skateboarding is the right medium to precise oneself, particularly since age is not any barrier to participation. Having first picked up a board as a toddler, the 13-year-old loves the game’s environment.

“Skateboarding is like one massive household. Skateboarding is gorgeous,” Brown mentioned.

“There isn’t any age — simply get on the market and go for it. Have enjoyable. Get pleasure from since you adore it, take child steps.

“Even for those who’re tremendous outdated like even 80 years outdated — there’s folks skating in Japan that I do know that is 80 years outdated and even Tony Hawk — he is 50 and he is nonetheless ripping it,” added Brown, referring to the legendary US skateboarder.

Sibling rivalry

Skating shortly over the implication that fifty is outdated — for Hawk’s sake greater than anybody’s — Brown additionally make clear her outstanding Tokyo expertise.

Having made errors in her first two runs, Brown nailed a kickflip Indy en path to a flawless last run that noticed the teen pip 15-year-old Japanese skateboarder Misugu Okamoto to a history-making bronze.

The gold medal winner was Okamoto’s compatriot Sakura Yosozumi — who Brown revealed is now certainly one of her “finest mates” after the Japanese skateboarder performed a pivotal function within the Briton’s restoration forward of the ultimate run.

“She [Sakura] is the one who actually made me really feel like I truly received it,” Brown mentioned.

“She was giving me a hug and mentioned ‘Look into my eyes … Sky, you bought it. We consider in you, we all know you are gonna get this, simply stick it.’ And yeah, she simply made me simply wish to stick it so unhealthy.”

Brown can be an avid surfer with goals of competing on the Paris Olympics in 2024, although the teen’s hopes of competing throughout two occasions could also be difficult by the truth that the browsing occasion is ready to happen over 9,000 miles away in Tahiti.

Brown surfs at a beach in Takanabe town, Miyazaki prefecture.

“I like browsing, it is similar to skateboarding to me,” Brown mentioned.

“Tahiti sounds very nice, I’ve by no means been there. The factor is in Paris, I actually hope to do each. I’ll attempt my finest, do no matter I can to do each,” she added.

Her youthful brother, Ocean, is following in his sister’s footsteps and is a proficient skateboarder and surfer.

“I am not gonna lie, he is [Ocean] getting fairly good,” Brown mentioned.

“He is going little by little and it is so cool to see my brother getting higher, however I’m very aggressive with him, so I am nonetheless gonna attempt to be higher.

“That might be very unhappy if he will get forward of me!”

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