SAO PAULO: When she saw 13-year-old Brazilian Rayssa Leal win silver in the first-ever street skateboarding competition at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Giovanna Alves Farias only had one wish: to start flying around a skate park herself. “I nearly cried. Seeing a 13-year-old girl like me win a medal was so unexpected!” Giovanna said. “Before the Games, I was already interested in skateboarding, but after seeing that, I told my dad: ‘Let’s go!'” Leal’s success is fueling a boom in skateboarding — long a sport dominated by men — among women and girls in Brazil, who see themselves soaring to new heights, maybe even at the Olympics. Right after the Olympics ended in Tokyo, the teen started to test out her abilities at a park in Sao Bernardo do Campo, near the mega-city of Sao Paulo. Ana Clara Agostinni, who is only 12, had already been working on her skateboarding tricks for some time, but the frenzy around Leal — known as the “Little Fairy” — kickstarted her desire to put her skills to the test in competition. Clad in her helmet and wrist guards, Ana Clara admits she is also looking for the adrenaline rush that hurling herself off obstacles in the park gives her. Leal first jumped to viral fame at the age of seven, thanks to a video of her doing skateboarding tricks dressed as Tinker Bell from the Peter Pan’s children stories. Julia de Souza Lima Martins, who is eight, wants to follow in her footsteps. Her helmet is bubble gum pink. For 20-year-old Dora Varella, another member of Brazil’s Olympic skateboarding team in Tokyo, seeing more and more young girls take up the sport has been one of the greatest rewards. But male chauvinism was certainly alive and well in skateboarding in the past, according to 46-year-old Renata Paschini. In the 1980s, skateboarding was considered a sport for delinquents in Brazil, and was even banned at one point in Sao Paulo by city officials. In 2009, she created the Association for Women Skateboarders, which organized competitions for women and girls and made sure the Sao Bernardo do Campo skate park had hours reserved for women.