The 2022 USA Skateboarding National Team poses for a photo following their team announcement event on April 12, 2022 in Los Angeles.
It might surprise people to discover that Paige Heyn never entertained any notion of making the USA Skateboarding National Team.
“I had no idea it was possible,” Heyn said. “So, I was very surprised when I found out.
“I never thought of that as an opportunity for me, but I’m so excited to be on it.”
Heyn recalled how her father had called her to pass along news that she had made the team. He caught her completely by surprise.
“He started reading (the email) to me,” Heyn said. “I was like, ‘Wow!’ I couldn’t believe it.”
It was true. At the tender age of 14, the Tempe, Arizona, resident had become the youngest member of Team USA.
“I was very nervous about that at first, but it was great,” Heyn said. “Everyone was so welcoming and pretty cool.”
Heyn, who will compete in women’s street, met her new teammates earlier this month when the 16-person team was announced.
“I loved it. Best time ever,” Heyn said. “Everyone was so welcoming, and it was just nice being there with everyone.”
Skateboarding made its debut as an Olympic sport at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Team USA’s Cory Juneau and Jagger Eaton earned bronze medals in the men’s park and street competitions, respectively. They and seven other Olympians return to this year’s national team.
Heyn may be young, but she got an early start in the sport.
“I got my first skateboard when I was like 4, and I would just ride it around outside, but I never started getting serious until like 8 and a half,” Heyn said. “I was doing little kid contests at like 9.”
Her first big contest was in Los Angeles in 2019, and Heyn placed fifth. Others have followed.
Heyn, ranked 25th in the world in women’s street, placed fifth at last year’s national championships.