daiki ikeda, x games japan

Daiki Ikeda

Daiki Ikeda, now 16, earned a surprise silver medal in his rookie X Games appearance at Chiba 2022. What made it better was being part of a Japanese podium sweep; he placed between longtime friends and mentors Yuto Horigome (gold) and Sora Shirai. Ikeda met both skaters more than 10 years ago, at the Shin-Yokohama Skateboard Park in Yokohama, Kanagawa, just outside of Tokyo. “I was really happy to be on the podium with Yuto and Sora, two of the top skaters in the world and two skaters I’ve always looked up to, while representing our home country in front of our home fans,” Ikeda says, with a translation assist from his Wasserman agent, Dai Sagiura. “I hope that it made everyone in Japan as excited to see that go down as it was for me to be a part of it.”

Momiji Nishiya

Momiji Nishiya was just 11 years, 11 months old when she earned silver at XG Minneapolis 2019, making her the youngest Street medalist at X Games. She finished 8th at her next X Games appearance, Norway 2019, before her fledgling XG career was interrupted — first by pandemic event cancellations in 2020, then by pandemic travel restrictions in 2021 and finally by an actual COVID-19 diagnosis the week of XG Chiba 2022. Undeterred, she returned in style at X Games 2022, beating a talent-laden field for gold. In her exuberant gold medal interview at XG 2022, translated by Women’s SKB Park gold medalist and pal Sky Brown, Nishiya exclaimed, “I’m too happy! I’m super happy!”