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Skateboarder Sky Brown is ‘lucky to be alive’ after ‘gnarliest’ fall ever, her father says

Sky Brown gets some air while riding Tony Hawk’s office ramp with other professional skateboarders in an Internet and social network broadcast last month in Vista, Calif. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

The 11-year-old skateboarder who hopes to become Britain’s youngest Olympian next summer fractured her skull and broke her left hand in what her father described as “the gnarliest fall she’s ever had.”

Sky Brown flew off the side of a ramp during a training session in California and posted frightening, slow-motion video of it on social media with an image from her hospital bed in which she sports a black eye. In an Instagram story, she said she had just gotten out of surgery on her hand.

“I don’t usually post my falls or talk about them because I want people to see the fun in what I do, but this was my worst fall and I just want everyone to know that I’m okay,” Brown said in a longer video on Instagram.

“It’s okay to fall sometimes. I’m just going to get back up and push even harder. I know there’s a lot going on in the world right now and I want everyone to know that whatever we do we’ve got to do it with love and happiness.”

Archives: She’s 10 years old and loves to skateboard. She could be an Olympian next year.

Brown added: “This was my worst fall yet. My helmet and arm saved my life. This will not stop me. I am going for gold in Tokyo 2021. Stay strong. Stay positive.”

Although she downplayed the accident and her injuries, her father painted a different picture. The BBC reported she was taken to a hospital by helicopter and was unresponsive upon arrival. She is expected to fully recover.

“Sky landed headfirst off a ramp on her hand,” her father, Stewart, told the BBC. “When she first came to hospital, everyone was fearful for her life. Sky had the gnarliest fall she’s ever had and is lucky to be alive. [She] remains positive and strong; the whole medical team is shocked to see her positivity.”

If Brown makes the Olympic team, she would be younger than swimmer Margery Hinton, who was 13 years 43 days old when she competed at the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam.

Brown promised “to come back even stronger and even tougher,” she posted on Instagram. “My heart wants to go so hard right now. I’m just waiting for my body to catch up. Thank you everyone for sending your love, messages and supporting me. I’m sorry to make you worry. I’m gonna be just fine.”

Skateboarding will make its Olympic debut next summer at the Tokyo Games, which were postponed this year because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Brown, who was born in Japan, represents Britain because her father is British. She spends most of her time in the United States and Japan, where her mother was born. The youngest professional skateboarder in the world, she won a bronze medal at the world championships in São Paulo last year.

Read more on the Long(er) Road to Tokyo

The Tokyo Games have been postponed amid the coronavirus outbreak. As the virus has spread, training sites have closed and athletes have been separated from coaches.

Here’s how American Olympians have adjusted their training during the pandemic.

Paralympic running: David Brown, the fastest blind sprinter on the planet, and his guide try to stay in sync while remaining apart.

Open water swimming: Haley Anderson has had to improvise without a pool and has used beer and wine bottles as weights.

Diving: Without a pool, Steele Johnson leans heavily on weight training to build core strength, stretching to maintain flexibility and rehab exercises to help his shoulders and surgically repaired feet. Laura Wilkinson pursues comeback with four new training partners: Her children.

Swimming: Phoebe Bacon has turned to a family friend, who has a covered, 15-meter pool attached to their home in the Maryland suburbs.

Read more: Paratriathlon | Sport climbing | Weightlifting | Artistic swimming | Rugby | Canoeing