Skateboarding has seen its heroes rise from the streets, parks, and ramps across the globe. But in the bustling city of Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang Province, a new prodigy has emerged, rewriting history at the Asian Games. Chen Ye, at the tender age of 15, has become the youngest Chinese champion to clinch gold in the men’s skateboarding park finals. This triumph also marks China’s first gold medal in the world championships for skateboarding.
Chen’s journey to the top is more than just a tale of a young athlete’s dedication. It’s an inspirational story of family, commitment, and dreams realized. When Chen stood at the victory podium, clutching his gold medal, the person he most wanted to thank was his father. “The Asian Games gold medal is the greatest accolade I’ve received. I see it as motivation to reach for even loftier heights,” Chen said.
Skateboarding wasn’t always on Chen’s radar. At the age of 8, during a regular visit to a shopping mall, he stumbled upon a skateboarding event. It was love at first sight. The thrill of mastering each move, the excitement of gliding on the board, was incomparable to anything he had experienced. While his father, Chen Wanqin, had previously introduced him to various hobbies like playing the piano, none resonated with young Chen as skateboarding did.
Recognizing his son’s burgeoning passion, Chen Wanqin not only respected Chen Ye’s choice but went above and beyond to support it. In 2019, when Chen Ye became a part of the Guangdong provincial skateboarding team, his parents made a significant decision. They rented a large warehouse, over 200 square meters in size, to create a bowl training ground tailored for Chen.
However, after Chen secured the second position in the men’s skateboarding park event at the 2021 National Games of China, his father believed they could achieve even more. In 2022, Chen Wanqin constructed a sprawling 900-square-meter skateboard park, towering at nine meters at its highest point, for his son to hone his skills further. Such dedication required sacrifices, and Chen’s father left his job, utilizing his savings, to ensure that his son had the best opportunities.
And the sacrifices bore fruit. Chen’s victory at the Asian Games has not only boosted his confidence but has also set his sights on larger arenas. “Having achieved this feat at an Asian event, my aspiration is to excel in global tournaments and to compete at the highest levels. I am optimistic about participating in more Olympic ranking events,” expressed the young champion.
China’s skateboarding future is looking bright. While Chen’s accomplishments shine brightly, other team members are also making their mark. In the skateboarding park women’s finals, Li Yujuan clinched the silver, and Mao Jiasi took home the bronze. Furthermore, the nation’s skateboarding talent pool is bubbling with young prospects. One notable mention is 13-year-old Cui Chenxi, the youngest athlete in the Hangzhou Asian Games Chinese delegation. With a team predominantly made up of athletes born post-2000, China’s skateboarding scene is on a trajectory of breakthroughs and unprecedented achievements.