Alexis Sablone, an Olympic athlete from Old Saybrook, came in fourth place at the first-ever Women’s Street Skateboarding Competition at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
“It was a pinnacle of achievement, just to see her there in Tokyo,” Fran Sablone, Alexis’ father, said.
Fran said Alexis started skateboarding around age 10 and liked that it was a very mentally challenging and physically challenging sport.
He said his daughter competed as a teenager and skateboarding continued being her outlet as she pursued higher education at Columbia and MIT.
“Just to clear her head, she would take her skateboard and skate around Boston at 2, 3 in the morning sometimes. Scared the heck out of us, but that’s what she did,” Fran Sablone said. “She pursued it with a passion. It’s provided her with a wonderful life. To be able to do what you love to do and to do it while still getting a terrific education, it’s been a blessing for her and I couldn’t be more proud,” Fran Sablone said.
Alexis Sablone was the only American to qualify for the finals in the competition.
People in Old Saybrook, the town Alexis grew up in, are beaming with pride.
“I don’t have the pleasure of knowing her personally, but I think it’s absolutely fantastic,” Wayne Wysocki, of Old Saybrook, said.
“That’s exciting, I think that’s amazing,” Mark Fullerton, of Old Lyme, said.
“I grew up here, born and raised. So it’s cool to see somebody succeeding like that from your hometown,” Emma Loso, of Old Saybrook, said.
“She’s representing the United States on a global platform. It’s great. And she’s a local girl, who doesn’t love that,” said Jeff Herrschaft, a man from North Carolina who is visiting Old Saybrook.
This is the first year that skateboarding has been included as an Olympic sport, something people in Old Saybrook said is long overdue.
“I think it’s great, it’s about time. These kids are athletes,” Herrschaft said.
“I can’t even go in a straight line and they do flips and tricks and it’s insane,” Loso said.