From 15 to 50: Sky Brown seals Olympic place with veteran Andy MacDonald

<span>Sky Brown celebrates her silver medal in Budapest.</span><span>Photograph: Kieran Cleeves for OIS/IOC/PA</span>
Sky Brown celebrates her silver medal in Budapest.Photograph: Kieran Cleeves for OIS/IOC/PA

Great Britain’s skateboarding team will feature a 35-year age difference between athletes at the Paris Olympics this summer after Sky Brown, Andy MacDonald and Lola Tambling were confirmed as qualified for the Games on Sunday.

The 15-year-old Brown, who became Great Britain’s youngest Games medallist in winning bronze at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, will compete in France alongside the 50-year-old MacDonald and the 16-year-old Tambling.

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Having qualified in fourth for the women’s park final in the Olympic Qualifier Series in Budapest on Sunday, Brown registered 91.93 on her third run, securing the silver medal behind Arisa Trew of Australia.

Brown showed no ill effects from the medial collateral ligament injury she sustained in April that kept her out of the qualifying event in Shanghai in May. After that flawless third run Brown smiled broadly and nodded knowing she had done enough to reach Paris.

Tambling, from Cornwall, was 24th with a best score of 67.61, enough for Olympics qualification after she finished sixth at the world championships and also won the British national championships.

Team GB posted on X: “Sky Brown: 15 years old. Lola Tambling: 16 years old. Andy MacDonald: 50 years old. All three skateboarders have QUALIFIED for @Paris2024 through the #OlympicQualifierSeries! Age is just a number.”

MacDonald, who hails from Massachusetts, started skateboarding aged 12 and turned professional in 1994 – 14 years before Brown was born in Miyazaki, Japan.

He spent his career competing alongside his friend, Tony Hawk, and holds the record for the number of vert medals won at the X Games. MacDonald is eligible for the British team via his father and will compete in the men’s park.

“I watch kids fall and hurt themselves, and think if I took that slam I’d be out for a week,” MacDonald told the Guardian in January. “It just takes way longer to heal, the older you get. The physical side of it is a constant reminder: ‘Yeah, you’re old.’”

MacDonald will turn 51 on 31 July, five days after the Paris Games begin, while Brown’s 16th birthday falls on 12 July.

“It’s what keeps me young,” MacDonald told when competing at the qualifiers in Shanghai last month. “You don’t get old and quit skateboarding. You quit skateboarding and get old. I’ve never stopped doing it. It’s my mental health, it’s my physical health. Whether I was competing or not, I’d still be doing it anyway.”