Meet Brighton Zeuner, the 16-Year-Old Skateboarding Sensation Headed to the Tokyo Olympics

The Tokyo 2021 Olympics will be here sooner than you know, and one competition we're excited to watch is skateboarding. This will be the first-ever Olympics to feature the street and park disciplines, and one of the most promising athletes, Brighton Zeuner, was officially announced as part of the US team earlier this year. We're excited to see her compete this summer.

Zeuner is already decorated, holding two X Games gold medals (note that she's the youngest recipient in history) and also has a Vans Park Series World Championship title. But when it comes to the Olympics, in a 2019 interview, Zeuner told POPSUGAR, "I think it's exciting because there's a whole different audience, a lot of kids watching, and it's exciting because growing up, the Olympics is a really big name."

Initially, she was a softball player, but she eventually transitioned to skateboarding because her brother did it and she wanted to do an activity that was "rule-free" and allowed for creative freedom. "I was in love with skateboarding because it was your own thing."

"It makes me feel human. It's just a part of me."

When she turned 10, Zeuner began skating competitively. "That's when it just clicked for me," she said. No one needed to force her to get on her board and practice; her passion drove her.

"I love it. Because of skateboarding, I'm kind of who I am. I get validation out of it. It makes me feel human. It's just a part of me." She enjoys winning, but she also enjoys being able to express herself through the skills she executes and the clothing she wears. Zeuner's fashion is inspired by Y2K, the early 2000s, and '90s hip-hop and rap music, she said. "I'd rather stand out and wear my own stuff. When I dress cute, I skate better."

In the words of Zeuner, "Girls skating is badass." At the end of the day, the level of competition doesn't matter to her, she said, because "I'm just skating."