13-year-old Cui Chenxi of China has become the youngest gold medalist at the Asian Games for skateboarding. Teenage girls in general have been dominating the sport.
In multiple interviews with Chinese state media outlets, Cui discussed how she first began skating at just three years old when she got a pair of roller blades; she actually didn’t take up skateboarding until around three years old.
She took on the sport during the Covid-19 pandemic when the world was on lockdown. Within just one year, Cui was able to compete at a professional level at provincial events.
Born in Shandong, Cui is the Chinese national team’s youngest athlete while competing in Hangzhou. According to reports from Reuters, Cui landed an incredibly difficult high rail landing, while many of her competitors avoided.
She celebrated by proudly parading around the Qiantang Roller Sports Center with the national flag wrapped around her shoulders.
“This is just the beginning. We must continue to work hard and strive for the Paris Olympics and get good results.”
18-year old Zeng Wenhui, Cui’s teammate, won the silver while 16-year-old Ito Miyu of Japan won bronze.
Skateboarding initially made its debut at the Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2014, and quickly launched into mainstream competitive sports competitions, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
According to CNN, “the street event requires competitors to perform tricks on a track scattered with stairs, rails, ramps, benches and more. Skaters arrange their own routes and moves as they wish, and are scored over two runs and five tricks to determine the final score.
While the men’s sport tends to be dominated by athletes in their late teens or early twenties, women’s skateboarding has skewed increasingly younger.”
Back in September, Cui got to the finals of the 2024 Paris Olympic Games qualifier, WST Lausanne Street, with a score that was higher than what bronze medalist Funa Nakayama earned at the 2020 Olympics. She’s on track to continue dominating the sport in the road to the Olympics.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.