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Local Pro Skateboarder Bryce Wettstein Is Ready for the Summer Games

She talks Team USA and how she fell in love with the sport that got her there
Brie Lakin
Bryce Wettstein - main

Bryce Wettstein – main

Brie Lakin

Bryce Wettstein swears she was immersed into the world of skateboarding while still in utero, hearing the sounds of her dad skating and breakdancing—two sports, she jokes, that “go hand in hand, and foot in foot.” Wettstein’s recent performance at Dew Tour, a national extreme sports competition in Long Beach, secured the 17-year-old Encinitas resident a spot on the USA Women’s Park Skateboarding team to compete at the Tokyo Olympic Games this year.

The multitalented teen is an honor student in her junior year at San Dieguito High School, who also plays varsity indoor and beach volleyball, and is an avid surfer as well as a singer-songwriter with music on Spotify.

Her dad sparked her love of skating when she was five years old by asking one question: “Do you want to come skateboard a pool with me?” It turns out that the pool was drained to be a skateboarding bowl, and that one question was enough to pique Wettstein’s interest.

Bryce Wettstein 2

Bryce Wettstein 2

“As soon as I realized I can be my unique self on a skateboard, the most unique parts of me came about and fizzed over. I didn’t know what they were at first, and now I’m finally figuring it out when chasing my dream.”

Wettstein is making history as she competes in the first Olympic Games to include skateboarding. The competition is divided into two separate events for park and street athletes. Park skating is known for its use of ramps, bowls, and other obstacles, while street skating uses more staircases, rails, and sidewalks.

She remembers being on deck at Dew Tour and realizing that she would probably go on to the Olympics. “But even as you think it, you’re still in disbelief. Then, suddenly, it isn’t if this happens, it’s actually a matter of saying when.”

But she’s managed to stay centered on the road to the Tokyo games, even while juggling an exceptionally busy schedule. “Sometimes it’s easy to push past the things we want because we’re so focused on the end result,” she says. “I don’t want to be on some sort of schedule because it makes sense for a bigger picture. I often ask myself, ‘What do I really feel like doing today?’ and then listen to my heart.”

Wettstein feels a new wave of gratitude wash over her every day, especially for her family’s support. She uses her success to motivate peers and classmates contemplating their own futures.

“We’re all inspiring each other, because this is the time to stir up the cauldron of dreams—to start our dreams together. I’m just trying to take a leap at mine while they take a leap at theirs. I always tell them, ‘I’m still in the same canoe as you.’” Not downplaying the herculean mental and physical strength the Olympics will require of her, Wettstein knows she’ll need to plan for some downtime upon returning from Tokyo.

“When you’re going somewhere like the Olympics, sometimes you put so much emphasis on how to take everything in, you forget to let everything out, too. I just want to breathe for a second, take a brain break, and write about everything—just sort of let it loose, like spilling beads on the floor.”

By Kai Oliver-Kurtin

Kai Oliver-Kurtin is a San Diego-based writer who covers travel, dining, events, and culture. Her writing has been published in USA Today, Condé Nast Traveler, Fodor's Travel, Marie Claire, and HuffPost, among others.

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