Who is 6 years old, glides through the air with gravity defying ease, and wears a pink princess dress with her crash helmet? Australian skate phenomenon Paige Tobin.
For this powerful girl, the dizzying 12-foot drops are a piece of cake. The pint-sized powerhouse recently outpaced the competition in the 9-and-under category to win the King of Concrete skateboarding contest in Melbourne.
After finding her mother’s old skateboard in the family garage at age 2, Paige was quick to become “the wheel deal.”
“Paige is definitely skating exceptionally well, not just for her age, but for skateboarding in general,” said Neftalie Williams, associate professor of sociology at the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. told CNN.
Williams, who studies racial and gender diversity through the lens of skateboarding, says Paige’s accomplishments are notable not only as a measure of athletic prowess but also for their impact on cultural boundaries.
“One of the most important things about watching Paige skate is how it is a reminder that there has been an explosion of women, girls and skaters who do not fit gender,” she told CNN. “That has really shaped and changed the way people perceive skateboarding culture.”
Paige cites British skater Sky Brown, who at age 12 recovered from serious injuries sustained in a fall and is slated to become the youngest skater in Olympic history, as inspiring her “never give up” attitude.
While she has yet to master a “Blunt Fakie” herself (stopping at the top of the ramp, balancing on the ledge, and then exiting the ramp for the downhill ride), Paige has landed several endorsement deals and Together with his mother, he plans a tour of the United States this summer in which he hopes at some point to meet skateboard legend Tony Hawk.
In the long run, Paige’s legacy of dismantling stereotypes may be what defines her career in sports history books, but one look at her and it’s clear that she loves what she’s doing.
At 6 years old, the impulse that keeps this girl flying is simple: “It makes me happy,” says Paige.
(LOOK See Paige in the viral video below).
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