Yuto Horigome, a hometown hero, took home Japan’s third Olympic gold medal in skateboarding in Tokyo. Despite several of his competitors failing, the world champion kept his cool and performed some incredible acrobatics on the street’s railings, steps, and benches. Horigome, who grew up in the same city as a skater, excitedly waved the Japanese flag inside Ariake Urban Sports Park, exciting the small crowd. After gold medals for judoka Naohisa Takato on July 24, 2021, and swimmer Yui Ohashi on the following day, Tokyo’s enthusiasm for these Olympics has been slow to develop, but Horigome’s victory has fueled the flames.

Horigome also upset the sport’s most famous figure and current world number one, Nyjah Huston, who tripped in the scorching heat and placed seventh out of eight participants. In scorching temperatures in Tokyo’s Koto City, Horigome, 22, struggled on his early runs, but found his composure at the crucial moment, landing four of the five final tricks and earning 9.50 on his penultimate run. Skateboarding, which has its origins in youth culture, has been frowned upon in Japan at times, but that may change now that the hometown hero has won in a nail-biting final.