Brazil’s ‘Little Fairy’ sparkles

SAO PAULO, Brazil – Everything seems to work like magic for Rayssa Leal, the 13-year-old Olympic skateboarding silver medalist nicknamed “Fadinha” or “Little Fairy.”

Leal was pipped to street skateboarding gold in Tokyo by fellow 13-year-old Momiji Nishiya of Japan but her silver was enough to turn the prodigious Brazilian talent into a national icon.

“I still can’t believe it but it seems as though it was a big deal!” Leal, from the northeastern Maranhao state, told TV Globo.

“Knowing that many other people have been training hard to be here, not just for skateboarding, and to have managed to win a medal for Brazil, it’s very gratifying,” she said.

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