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You’ll often hear media commentators lamenting about a world obsessed with celebrity. A world where our daughters gravitate towards the likes of Kim Kardashian and Miley Cyrus – so is this assessment fair? Young skateboarding champ and passionate artist, Poppy Starr Olsen, is living proof we may not be looking in the right places for inspiration.

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                                                                           Just another day for Poppy Starr Olsen

For most of us, when we think back to when we were 16-years-old, we may recall dancing hopelessly in the mirror while listening to music or watching re-runs of our favourite TV show. As for Poppy Starr Olsen, she’s spent her days as a 16-year-old skating among the elite group of pro skaters around the world and competing on the world stage.

The Aussie picked up a skateboard for the first time at just 8 years of age…

 

describing it “like nothing else” and remembering how brave it made her feel as the sport is kind of dangerous. What the Newcastle skateboarder never could have realised is just how rapid her rise in the skateboarding world was destined to be.

sportThere’s no doubt that this teenager has wheeled her way onto the radar of skateboarding’s most prestigious. One such person is former pro-skater and the founder of not-for-profit company Girl is NOT a 4 Letter Word, Cindy Whitehead. The company sponsors Olsen and together, she and Whitehead are changing the face of skateboarding for future generations, especially in regards to female skateboarders.

“Cindy has been pretty awesome. Not only does she give me totally rad clothes to wear, she always wants to work together and values my opinion. She’s all about helping girls by giving them opportunities and bringing exposure to actions sports,” says Olsen.

It’s an incredibly exciting time for the sport in Australia and there’s no doubt that Olsen is a pioneer of the sport as women’s skateboarding continues to gain popularity. “I feel really positive for the future of women’s skateboarding, especially with the announcement that the sport will be included in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.”

The timing couldn’t be more perfect for Olsen…

 

who confesses that her ultimate dream since watching her first Olympics, has been to represent Australia.

“It’s going to be awesome for all of the girls involved in our sport.”

There is no doubt in our mind that Olsen is destined to be a household name for many years to come. In addition to her love of action sports, Olsen is also an incredibly talented young artist, sharing her love for both art and skateboarding in this TEDxUltimo.

So where to now for this super young successful star?

 

“I really hope I can build my business so that it not only supports me and my travels, but places me in a position to help other girls to achieve their dreams too.”

Is there anything more special than a young person with so much to say and pass on to others? So what advice would Olsen pass onto young girls looking to get into pro-skateboarding for the long haul?

“It’s an awesome sport to get involved in and everyone is so supportive! If we can get more girls taking up skating, companies will inevitably throw more money at it.”

 

Sarah Cannata

Founding editor at This Woman Can
Sarah Cannata is the founding editor of This Woman Can and is the author of the picture book, Willow Willpower. She's a self-confessed introvert who believes quality storytelling can change the world.
Sarah Cannata
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