Chloe Covell is not your average teenager. The 13-year-old from Australia’s Gold Coast has been making waves in the skateboarding world with her impressive skills and fearless attitude. She recently became the youngest X Games Women’s Street gold medalist in history, beating some of the best skaters in the world at the X Games California 2023.
Covell started skating at six years old after seeing American star Nyjah Huston, arguably the world’s best street skater, competing at X Games. (He now considers himself her biggest fan.) But for the teen, that still means she’s been skating for about half her life.
She quickly rose to prominence in the Australian skate scene, winning two national titles and earning a spot on the national team. She made her international debut at the World Skateboarding Championships in Sharjah, UAE, in February 2023, where she won a silver medal behind Brazil’s Rayssa Leal, who had won silver at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Covell followed that up with a bronze medal at the inaugural X Games in Chiba, Japan, in July 2023, where she was the youngest competitor and shared the podium with Leal and Japan’s Nakayama Funa. She also became the youngest athlete ever to win two X Games medals before the age of 13.
But Covell was not satisfied with just being a prodigy. She wanted to be a champion. And she proved it at the X Games California 2023, where she stunned the crowd and the judges with her flawless final run, scoring a 92.33 and edging out Leal by 0.33 points. She also landed a rare trick for women skaters: a backside lipslide down a big rail.
“I’m so happy. I can’t believe it,” Covell said after her historic win.
Covell’s success is not only remarkable for her age, but also for her gender. Women’s skateboarding has historically been marginalized and underfunded, but thanks to pioneers like Leticia Bufoni, Lizzie Armanto, and Sky Brown, it has gained more recognition and support in recent years. The inclusion of skateboarding in the Olympics for the first time in 2020 also helped boost its popularity and visibility.
Covell is part of a new generation of female skaters who are pushing the boundaries of the sport and inspiring others to follow their passion. She hopes to compete at the Paris 2024 Olympics and continue to grow as a skater and a person.
“I just want to keep skating and having fun,” she said. “And maybe inspire some other girls to start skating too.”