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Skateboarding with a smile: Japan’s Momiji Nishiya grabs gold at 2022 X Games

Japanese teens take 5 of 6 women’s skateboarding medals

LiFTED | Sherrie Yip | 5 Aug 2022

Since the approval of Olympic skateboarding six years ago, the sport has been on fire around the world, particularly in Japan where teenagers are crazy for it. This includes Momiji Nishiya, the youngest contestant with an Olympics gold medal. Building on her skateboarding success, Momiji recently took home a gold medal at the X games 2022 in Vista, California.

Momiji is already a skateboarding legend in Japan and she’s only turning 15 on August 30. She won her first gold Women’s Skateboard Street Competition in X Games 2022, adding to her gold at the Tokyo Olympics last summer, and a silver medal which she claimed in X Games 2019 in Minneapolis as an 11-year-old.

Momiji Nishiya at X Games 2022

As the youngest and first female athlete to attain an Olympics gold medal for a skateboarding event, Momiji is not only known for her skills riding on four small wheels, but also for her ability to perform challenging tricks like kickflips, rail grinds, box jumps, and others. At the X Games, Momiji continued to wow the crowd, scoring high marks with a frontside big board slide on her first attempt, and setting the tone for her gold medal performance. All of this with a huge smile on her face.

Meanwhile, fellow Japanese skater Yumeka Oda, also 14, secured her position as the second runner-up in the same contest, winning another medal for Japan in X Games 2022. Among the six medals in women's skateboarding, five went to Japanese skaters, which is a pretty impressive haul overall.

Watch all three of Momiji Nishiya’s runs below.