At just nine years old, Mazel Alegado is already making her dreams of becoming a pro skater come true, one skate at a time.
When your age hasn’t hit double-digits yet, many adults will tell you that the world is your oyster. Most kids won’t understand what this means until a little later, but anyone say this to nine-year-old Mazel Alegado, and she will surely understand as she knows what it feels to have the world at her feet. After all, she has just conquered her part of the world as the Philippines’ youngest competitor at the 19th Asian Games.
At only nine years old, Mazel Alegado was the youngest athlete on Team Philippines — and may even be the youngest athlete in the entire tournament — representing the country in the skateboarding tournament. An athlete her age, competing alongside athletes much older than her, it might be easy to think that she would already be happy simply being at the event — though you would be wrong. Mazel came to the Asian Games to compete.
Who is Mazel?
Remember the name, because at her age, this definitely won’t be the last time that you will be hearing about her in the world of competitive sports.
Mazel Alegado, who just turned nine years old last March, reportedly hails from California but is representing the Philippines at the 19th Asian Games. As one might easily guess, she did not start skateboarding too long ago. She got into the sport after she saw her brother doing it while they were at a relative’s house.
“I was like, ‘Can I try? Can I try?’” Mazel said. “And I got on the board and just loved it.”
Her brother, who introduced her to the sport, now no longer skates himself. Now, Mazel does it for them both. “He was like, ‘Oh dang, she’s better than me now’, so he stopped,” she shared. Understandable, given that Mazel herself shared that she trains in Portugal, where she skates around eight hours a day.
With her dedication at such a young age, she found herself representing the Philippines at one of the most prestigious international competitions in the world.
Making a name for herself
Given that the Asian Games only takes place once every four years, athletes don’t get to compete in the tournament too many times in their careers. Mazel Alegado, however, having started at nine years old, is likely to see many more Asian Games in her future. And she was off to an already incredible start in her first one.
Mazel’s performances in the preliminary stages of the skateboarding competition booked her a ticket to the women’s park final.
In the finals, she recorded her best score of 52.85 in her first run, and adding another 24.83 and 24.50 in her succeeding runs. These numbers may not have won her the gold medal for the event, but she definitely impressed, finishing seventh in the tournament, and is proud of her performance. “I’m really proud that I got here. My dream is to be a pro skater. I would love to go to the Olympics,” she said.
Mazel wasn’t the only youngster in the field. 15-year-old Hinano Kusaki from Japan won the gold medal of the event.
Indeed, this nine-year-old Filipino skateboarding prodigy has proven that age is just a number, even in competitive sports.
Banner image from AFP.