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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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).
This song makes me see my life as if it were projected in a cinema.
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:
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.
This song starts: “Origami symmetrical tsunamis.” It has lyrics about turning objects into unique things, like riding a bike made out of glasses.
This is about having the urge to wander in your bones.
This song is all about whimsical life.