Watch CBSN Live

11-year-old skateboarding prodigy Sky Brown sets her sights on the 2020 Olympics

Sky Brown is a force of nature. "I just love skateboarding," she said. "It's my happy place."

Happy and confident as she fearlessly attacks the bowl, the 11-year-old said, "I love makeup, dresses, jewelry. I want girls to know that, they can be a girly-girl and do sports."

Brown competed Friday at the X Games in Minneapolis, where she became the first female skateboarder to land a "frontside 540" in the Games' history. That extremely difficult trick is one-and-a-half rotations of her board.

Eleven-year-old Sky Brown, a fearless little girl with a giant personality, has made a name for herself at the X Games, and is setting her sights on the Tokyo Olympics CBS News

Skateboarding will make its debut in the Tokyo Olympic Games next year, and this fearless little girl with a giant personality is setting her sights on taking part.

Brown comes to Southern California to ride and compete. Half-British, half-Japanese, her home is across the Pacific in Japan. And while her raw talent is making waves in the sport, Brown is also a natural in the surf.

"I usually wake up, like, at 4 and wake my parents. I have to be in the water by at least 6 o'clock," she said.

Correspondent Jamie Yuccas asked, "Are they ever, like, 'Kid, go back to bed'?"

"Yeah!" Brown laughed.

Skateboarder Sky Brown. CBS News

Brown has been riding since she was a tiny tot.  She entered her first contest at the age of seven, and by eight, she became the youngest girl to compete as a pro in the Vans U.S. Open.

Now 11, she's been added to Great Britain's national team with the hope of competing in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Yet she doesn't even have a coach. "How do you practice and learn how to do tricks?" asked Yuccas.

"If I see somebody do that trick, I'll be like, 'I wanna try that.' I, like, watch YouTube. Keep doing it and doing it until I make it."

Ocean is Sky's seven-year-old brother, who loves chasing his big sister around the bowl … and seems to mimic her in all things.

Sky finds fun in everything, even when she falls. After a trip to the ER, she got a pink cast, and was back on her board.

"Even if I fall or if I get hurt, that won't stop me to do what I love," she said. "I don't care what happens to me. I want to skate."

Close to 400,000 follow her adventures on Instagram, where Brown is often seen sailing through the air without a helmet.

In competition, skaters under 18 are required to wear one.

She agrees that kids should wear helmets: "Yeah," she said. "It protects you and, like, keeps you safe."

Brown is not guaranteed a spot in the Olympics. She has to accumulate points at competitions over the next year proving she's among the best.

One of Sky's heroes is British skateboarding legend Bod Boyle. When Yuccas Asked Boyle what Brown is doing for the sport, he replied, "Wow, I think she's opening up a lot of eyeballs.

"I kind of knew when I first saw her roll in that she's a natural. The way she applies herself and the way she just focuses, it's inside of her."

Her drive also comes with a lot of heart. Boyle recently helped Brown team up with Skateistan, a non-profit that brings skateboarding to unprivileged youth around the world.

She said, "I have this fire in my heart, that I knew that I wanted to, like, help teach kids. Because I feel, like, when you skate, you just think about happiness; you don't think about what you're struggling through."

And when you're only 11 and thinking that big, the sky really is the limit.

Sky Brown takes to the skies. CBS News
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.