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13-year-old becomes one of the youngest Olympic gold medal winners ever
Momiji Nishiya, 13, of Japan took home gold in skateboarding Monday, making her one of the youngest gold medal winners ever in the Olympic Games.
The skateboarder, who is approaching her 14th birthday, won gold in the women's street competition, which first debuted in Tokyo this year. More than half the competitors were in their teens. The two runner-ups were 13-year-old Rayssa Leal of Brazil and 16-year-old Nakayama Funa of Japan, showing just how young the sport leaders are.
"I welled up in tears because I was beyond happy," Nishiya told Reuters after her impressive win.
Nishiya and Leal are both the youngest medalists in their countries.
Many of the female competitors say they want to see more girls in the sport.
"It's not right to think, well you have to study, you can't go skating because skating is for boys. I think skateboarding is for everyone," Leal said, according to the publication.
"For a long time, there were way fewer females doing this," U.S's Alexis Sablone, who placed fourth, told Reuters. "It's taken until now for enough people to pay attention, to get enough eyes on it, to inspire more girls around the world to start skating."
The youngest gold medalist was Team USA's Marjorie Gestring at the 1936 games in Berlin. Gestring, only 13 years and 268 days old at the time, won gold in the women's diving competition.