Updated: July 28, 2021 10:24:58 am
Brazilian skater Rayssa Leal is currently the talk of the town after she won the silver medal for skateboarding at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Before this, the 13-year-old had shot to internet fame six years ago, when a video of her performing a skateboarding trick dressed as a fairy went viral.
It was in 2015 when skateboarding legend Tony Hawk gave a then-7-year-old Leal her first viral break, sharing a video of her heel flipping in a princess costume.
“I don’t know anything about this but it’s awesome: a fairytale heelflip in Brazil by #RayssaLeal (via @oliverbarton)”, Hawk had written back then.
— Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) September 8, 2015
Now, in 2021, Hawk joined Leal at the Olympics to support her. “Six years ago he introduced me to the world of skateboarding by sharing my video wearing a fairy costume. Today, he filmed me at the Olympics,” Leal wrote on Instagram, sharing a picture of the two at practice.
“This is all so amazing, I’m living a dream! Thank you @tonyhawk for being so kidding [sic] and always motivating me”, she added.
Replying to the 13-year-old’s post, Hawk commented, “You have exceeded all expectations! It’s been an honour to be involved in some small way. And thanks for the clip”.
The official Twitter handle of Olympics also shared a ‘then and now’ picture of Leal, showcasing her progress from a viral sensation to a teen Olympic medallist.
— Olympics (@Olympics) July 26, 2021
Leal became the youngest athlete in the history of Brazil to win an Olympic medal. Momiji Nishiya, 13, from Japan won gold and 16-year-old Funa Nakayama from Japan won bronze at the Tokyo Olympics’ first women’s street skateboarding event.