Although she's just 15, Sky Brown has experienced a lot in her life. And right now, her current situation — recovering from an injury while she prepares for an Olympic Games — is one she's dealt with before.

But for Brown — a skateboarder who was born in Japan, lives part-time in California, and competes for Great Britain — she's overcome far worse injuries and still experienced success, and she hopes to write a similar story at Paris 2024.

In early April, Brown injured her knee while filming for a video part. She was diagnosed with a fully torn MCL and given a two-month recovery timeline by her doctor.

MRI of Sky Brown's knee injury
An MRI of Sky Brown's knee after she tore her MCL in April.
Sky Brown

Since then, Brown has been forced to put her whirlwind life on hold. Instead of traveling around to attend contests and stack more clips, she's been at home in California rehabbing and trying to stay active as much as possible.

Her days typically start with an early walk, followed by an hour or two of physical therapy. With the help of her dad, she's been eating healthy. She's also been using the opportunity to catch up on school and catch up with friends before she resumes her usual travel schedule.

While the setback was a disappointment for Brown, she's taking it all in stride and using it as motivation.

"Every injury I've had, I've come back stronger," Brown said. "So this is just my time to really think about what I want to do next. It really puts a fire in my heart, and yeah, it happens, it is part of life."

Brown's time to come back even stronger is fast approaching. She expects to be back on a skateboard (and a surfboard) within the next week or two. Her return to competition is expected to come in June at the Olympic Qualifier Series event in Budapest, and X Games — which takes place the following weekend — is also on her radar.

Every injury I've had, I've come back stronger. ... It really puts a fire in my heart.

Sky Brown

All of that leads up to the Paris Olympics, where Brown expects to be fully healthy and contending for another medal.

"Since the [last] Olympics, I've won every event and I don't want to lose that streak," she said. "So I'm going to keep going. I'm going to try to get gold in every event, especially the Olympics."

This isn't Brown's first experience with injuries. About a year before the Tokyo Olympics, she was hospitalized after a scary fall resulted in life-threatening injuries that included skull fractures and a broken wrist and hand. She ultimately returned to action and was part of skateboarding's Olympic debut three years ago, earning a bronze medal in the women's park contest at age 13.

In Tokyo, Brown was joined on the podium by two other teenagers: 19-year-old gold medalist Sakura Yosozumi and 12-year-old silver medalist Cocona Hiraki, both from Japan. Alongside the women's street contest, all six medalists in women's skateboarding were teenagers, and their average age was just over 14.

"Being a part of such an amazing group, it's insane," Brown said. "Now I'm not the youngest one anymore. Seeing these younger ones come up and do these crazy tricks, crazy spins, it's been really cool to see. But we also have Sakura and Dora [Varella], they're in their 20s still doing amazing. I really think age in skateboarding is not a thing, it doesn't matter what age you are. But it's really cool being a part of this generation and I want to lead it strong."

One of the biggest things Brown will be looking forward to during her second Olympic appearance is the return of fans to the venues. After the Tokyo Olympics were spectator-free due to COVID-19 precautions, fans will be back in the stands for the Paris Games to give the competition a whole new feel.

"Definitely super excited to have a crowd," she said. "I love having a crowd when I'm skating, it really fires me up, and seeing all the people watching, I think is going to fire the whole crew up. I think we're going to put on a really sick show."

Sky Brown holds British flag
Sky Brown was 13 years old when she won a bronze medal in women's skateboard park at the Tokyo Olympics.

In February 2023, Brown won her first world title in women's park, also becoming Great Britain's first skateboarding world champion in any discipline. She's currently No. 3 in the women's park world rankings (behind only Hiraki and Hinano Kusaki) and will be one of the gold medal favorites in Paris.

While Brown has some new tricks in mind to bring to the Olympics — they're a secret for now — she's been doing more than just adding new tricks to her arsenal ahead of the Games.

"I'm working on power, length, style, tweaking all my tricks up, making it look as beautiful as I can," she revealed.

Brown, who released a children's book earlier this year, also has been busy with another sport: surfing. She made a run at qualifying for the Paris Olympics — something she's interested in doing again for LA 2028 — but ultimately fell short of securing a spot. She's currently the first alternate, though, so if another athlete were to pull out of the event or get injured, she would be next in line to take their spot.

I want them to see the girl power of this sport. I just really hope we'll inspire them and show them that you can do anything you put your mind to.

Sky Brown

While surfing remains an integral part of Brown's routine — "I'm going to be surfing every day when I'm better, I missed it so much," she says — barring a call-up, her competitive focus in Paris will be on skateboarding, a sport which has been popular at the grassroots level for a long time but received a bigger spotlight when it made its Olympic debut in Tokyo.

"Since the Olympics, [skateboarding] just grew so much," she said. "Not just as a sport, but everything. I feel like we really showed a cool side of skateboarding and really showed the culture and how beautiful it was, and I think people really enjoyed it. I feel like there are so many more skaters now and especially young girls coming up. It's been really exciting. The level since Tokyo has changed so much, especially the girls, and I think we're definitely slowly closing that gender gap."

As for what Brown wants fans to see when they watch her and her peers compete this summer?

"I want them to see the girl power of this sport," she says. "I just really hope we'll inspire them and show them that you can do anything you put your mind to. I'm only going to be 16, and this is my second Olympics. I really did believe in myself, I worked hard, put my mind on it, and I made it. So I really want to inspire them and show skateboarding and show my style of it."