Skip to Content. By Zane Foley. Part of this story. View All Episodes. Skateboarding has predominantly been male dominated.
The Skateboarders Taking Over Are Among the Youngest Olympians in Tokyo
Action - Leticia Bufoni is next big female skateboarder - ESPN The Magazine
Under the bright LA morning sun, Leticia Bufoni tugs on the sleeves of her fitted black leather jacket. Her long brown hair is wrapped in her trademark black bandanna, an ode to her favorite rock star, Axl Rose. The year-old Brazilian mounts her skateboard and sails off a three-foot-high ledge. She whips her board degrees beneath her -- a trick called an inward heelflip -- teasing at the ability that has her pegged as the future of her sport. Bufoni is just one of a wave of skaters -- including fellow Brazilians Jessica Florencio , 20, and Eliana Sosco, 24 -- who aim to make women's skating relevant in the ever-growing action sports landscape. But with her deep arsenal of moves, aggressive style and marketability, it's Bufoni who's most likely to usher the sport into the mainstream. Since , she's snagged X Games silver and bronze in Street, a style of skateboarding that mimics an urban landscape with rails and ledges.
Female skateboarders on the rise
Alexis Sablone, the year-old skater from Brooklyn, had the best view. She had been in contention for a medal, a bit to her surprise, and now watched as girls less than half her age competed to win at the Olympics. In front of her, Rayssa Leal of Brazil, an energetic teenager with flowing hair and a broad smile, looked to become the youngest female gold medalist in Summer Games history.
TOKYO AP — On the Olympic podium stood three teenage girls — 13, 13 and 16 — with weighty gold, silver and bronze medals around their young necks, rewards for having landed tricks on their skateboards that most kids their age only get to see on Instagram. The bronze went to year-old Funa Nakayama of Japan. The field included Leticia Bufoni of Brazil, whose board was snapped in two by her dad when she was a kid to try to stop her from skating. Bufoni added, half-joking, that getting him to relent had been harder than qualifying for the Tokyo Games.