This is volume 1 of The Lily Mix Tape, a monthly playlist curated by someone we admire. Have someone you want to see featured here? Let us know.

In just two weeks, skateboarding will make its long-awaited debut at the Tokyo Summer Olympics. Starting July 25, skaters from around the world will compete in two events: park, which takes place in a bowl, and street, which is on flat ground. While some are worried the Olympics are too stodgy for such a freewheeling sport, others are hopeful it’ll help bring the sport to a mainstream audience.

One of the skaters vying for gold in the women’s park event will be 17-year-old Bryce Wettstein. The Encinitas, Calif., native has been skating since she was 5 — she started at her local YMCA and trained in her backyard bowl, which she named “The Iguana Bowl” after her late pet iguana, Spike. Since then, she has gone on to win the 2019 USA National Championship and is ranked eighth in the world in women’s park. On Aug. 4, she’ll compete in the women’s park event at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

Women's park finals at the Dew Tour Des Moines in May 2021 (Chris Dangaard/iStock/Washington Post illustration)
Women's park finals at the Dew Tour Des Moines in May 2021 (Chris Dangaard/iStock/Washington Post illustration)

When she’s not skating, Wettstein is also a musician who likes to write songs on her ukulele. In June, she released her first EP, “Paper Airplane.” And yes, she’s also a high school student with plans to attend college after graduation.

Ahead of the games, Wettstein curated a playlist for us of the songs she’s taking with her to Tokyo this summer.

“These are songs I’ve listened to since I was little,” Wettstein said. “They all conjure such happy memories.”

“I’ll be listening to these songs in Tokyo to keep me grounded when I need something to clear away any weird gunk that can try to overtake me.”

Listen and read along with her commentary below.

1. “Anyone Else But You” by The Moldy Peaches

This tune reminds me of my friendship with Poppy Olsen, an Australian skateboarder and fellow Olympic competitor. There’s no negativity. We are on the same level with most things — it’s a true comradeship.

2. “Jailhouse Rock” by Elvis Presley

I performed a dance to this song at a recital when I was young. It still invokes fond memories of strutting across the stage. It makes me think of this scene in “Tarzan,” where the characters are looking outside the box of how objects are intended to be used.

3. “Lollipop” by Mika

This song riddles my brain. It reminds me of what happens when you overindulge sometimes. Poppy and I laugh at how sugary foods like lollipops can make you zone out — almost like hypnosis!

4. “Let’s Be Still” by The Head and the Heart

This song makes me feel like time is stunted. I become a part of the whole rather than a whole playing a part — meaning I can be a spectator of the world rather than feeling like I have to always be a contributor.

5. “You Are the Woman” by Firefall

This is a wholesome song. My friend Tuli Lam and I used it in a majestic edit we made for a skateboard video.

6. “Feel Us Shaking” by The Samples

This song is a tribute to our family voyage to Hawaii when I was around 7. Every line rehashes memories of walking down the beach, filled with sand and conch shells. I can still taste all the memories.

7. “Being With You” by Smokey Robinson

This reminds me of reminiscing with my friend Oski Rozenberg, fellow skateboarder, where we did a duet on the ramp at my house as he played the song over the speaker. It also puts me out like a wish on a candle (zzzz).

8. “You Got It” by Roy Orbison

This song makes me see my life as if it were projected in a cinema.

9. “My Girl” by The Temptations

I only feel outbursts of saxophones and trumpets listening to this song, like the penguins from “Happy Feet.”

10. “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion

This song makes me weep when I listen to it. It makes me think about singing karaoke for the first time during my travels in China for a skate competition. I was so nervous!

Check out some of Wettstein’s original music below:

1. “Flip the World Upside Down”

This is a tune about seeing the most unadulterated parts of the world by simply readjusting where you’re standing. You can choose to see the sugarcoated parts of the world for what they are.

2. “Be like a Paper Airplane”

This song starts: “Origami symmetrical tsunamis.” It has lyrics about turning objects into unique things, like riding a bike made out of glasses.

3. “Wanderlust in Our Bones”

This is about having the urge to wander in your bones.

4. “Fall Away from this Earth”

This song is all about whimsical life.

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