Brighton Zeuner is a 17-year-old American professional skateboarder from Encinitas, California, who competes in the park discipline of skateboarding. Zeuner has been a member of the USA skateboarding national team since the first one was formed in 2019.
According to ESPN, the skateboarder began competing in pro women’s events at the age of 11 in 2016. That same year, she made her X Games debut, participating in the women’s skateboard park competition at X Games Austin 2016.
Zeuner is currently representing the United States at the Tokyo Olympics in the Games’ first-ever women’s skateboard park competition. The event will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 4, Tokyo time and on Tuesday, Aug. 3, U.S. time.
Here’s what you need to know about the U.S. park skater:
1. She is an X Games Gold Medalist
Zeuner first made a name for herself in skateboarding at the Summer X Games. At the 2017 X Games in Minneapolis — just her second time competing at the action sports event — she won her first X Games gold medal by winning the women’s skateboard park competition.
According to her athlete page on the official X Games website, the win happened a day after her 13th birthday. At the time, she was the youngest athlete to win a gold medal at X Games.
The following year, Zeuner became a back-to-back X Games skateboard park champion when she won gold in the women’s competition for the second year in a row.
2. Her Best Friend is Also on the USA Skateboarding Olympic Team
Zeuner is one of three women who will be representing Team USA at the women’s skateboard park competition in Tokyo, but she is not the only Encinitas native who will be doing so. Her teammate Bryce Wettstein is another teenager — she turns 17 in November — who hails from the southern California city. Wettstein is also Zeuner’s best friend.
In an article from People, Wettstein said the following of getting to go to the Olympics with Zeuner: “It’s probably the most ideal, surreal thing in the whole world because who would have ever thought that somebody that you met one day playing Polly Pocket would someday be a part of your journey?”
3. She Writes Songs and is Interested in Making Music
Last October, Sports Illustrated did a profile on Zeuner. The focus of the feature article was about how, despite being one of the world’s best skateboarders, she is not defined by the sport. In the article, she mentioned her other passions and her desire to “make music and be a good musician.” Outside of the time she spends skating, she writes songs.
Her brother, Jackson, is a musician himself and plays a role in teaching her guitar. According to an interview with Dew Tour, the guitar was a present that Zeuner received for her 16th birthday in 2020.
4. Zeuner Wants to Get Into Fashion Design
Zeuner’s athlete page on the website for Red Bull, one of her sponsors, says that the skater wants to pursue a career in fashion design.
When speaking with Sports Illustrated, Zeuner mentioned this interest.
“I want to have a fashion brand when I’m older,” Zeuner said. “I want to go to FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) in New York. I want to have an online shop, to make people confident with the clothes I design.”
In a recent article from Forbes, Zeuner expressed her hesitation about attending FIT, saying “now a lot of my friends are going out of state for college, and it’s kind of freaking me out.” But her desire to pursue fashion design remains.
The Forbes article also mentioned Zeuner’s goal “to start a brand of reworked clothing.” The 17-year-old skateboarder has been getting experience with this through the modified clothing pieces she has been selling on her Depop, which is described as “a fashion marketplace app.”
5. She Curated a Line for Vans
Zeuner got a taste of what it’s like to be a fashion designer when she curated a collection for Vans that was released in April 2020. The line included a pair of skate shoes, apparel and accessories. Every piece from the collection was “designed under the direction of Brighton’s distinctive, color-driven ethos,” as mentioned on the Vans website.
The line features a prominent use of the primary colors of blue, red and yellow. She chose them because of the nostalgia and positivity they evoke.
“I picked the primary colors because it reminds me of being a child and being young – those are my happy colors, if you will,” Zeuner explained.