Viral Skateboarder Rayssa Leal Wins Olympic Medal At Just 13

Brazilian skateboarder Rayssa Leal is a silver medalist at the Olympic Games at the age of 13, but viral fame is "been there, done that" for the powerhouse athlete
Among the many talented young athletes kicking their asses in Tokyo for the Summer Games in their respective sports is Rayssa Leal, a Brazilian skateboarder who won the first ever Olympic silver medal in women's street skateboarding on Monday July 26th took home. Rayssa is just 13 years old, but global fame is nothing new to the teenage athlete - in fact, she went viral at the ripe old age of eight after sharing an epic video of herself skateboarding in a lively fairy princess outfit what really demonstrated their courage and determination can make dreams come true.
Patrick Smith / Getty
Rayssa competed among several Olympic skateboarders under the age of 18, stunned audiences around the world in Japan and beyond with a number of impressive tricks, flips and moves, and secured her place in Olympic history among the youngest silver medalists. Her many fans - including skateboarding legend Tony Hawk - cheered her every step, with Rayssa revealing on Instagram that it was Hawk who inspired her to go skateboarding after the aforementioned video went viral.
In 2015, Rayssa shared a clip of himself on the now-defunct Vine app trying to nail a few heel flips on a staircase (and looking adorable in a light blue princess dress, too!). The video caught Hawk's attention, and Rayssa thanked Hawk for his support over the years. "Six years ago he introduced me to the world of skateboarding by sharing my video in a fairy costume," she wrote in her caption. Today he filmed me at the Olympics. It's all so great, I'm living a dream! ❤️ Thank you @tonyhawk for joking and always motivating me. "
In the comment section, Hawk raved about her success and wrote, “You exceeded all expectations! It was an honor for me to be there on a small scale. "
After her big win in Tokyo, she even got the meme treatment from the official Olympic Games social media accounts.
Of course, Rayssa seems pretty baffled by all of this - she told the Washington Post that she thinks it's cool to get back to normal after she achieved Olympic success.
"I want to be the little girl I am again," Rayssa told the publication in her native Portuguese. “I don't want to take responsibility. I want to continue to be the lively little girl I am for all of Brazil. "
Hopefully she gets a lot of rest and relaxation. Rayssa is definitely an inspiration to young athletes and sports lovers around the world, and it all started with a Vine video and a dream.
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In this article:
Games in Tokyo
Rayssa Leal
Brazilian skateboarder
Tony Hawk
American professional skateboarder

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