Minna Stess is a member of USA Skateboarding and is on track to represent Team USA at the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The 14-year-old prodigy talked to JWS about training in quarantine and what she’s looking forward to in 2021.
I don’t know. When I was eight, I was just having a lot of fun. I was just skateboarding for the fun of it. I’m not really sure. I don’t remember much, to be honest. I remember having fun, but that’s all.
It’s kind of weird to think about it, but I don’t know. I’ve been friends with a lot of them and some of them are older too, so I’m just making friends with people that are a little bit older than me. It was not that weird, it’s not like I’m so young. I mean, it’s everyone just skating. So we all have something in common, especially to talk about. So it’s not really that weird.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Minna Stess (@minnastess)
A post shared by Minna Stess (@minnastess)
Where I live there’s an independent study school, which basically means I go in once a week to get my work. And then the next week I come back with that work and I do that all over again. So I can travel pretty easily, I don’t stay at school, I just go one day. Especially with online now, it’s just Zoom calls, while before it was just going on for like an hour. But yeah, it’s pretty easy travel and stuff.
I think it’s really cool. I mean, hopefully it stays in for a while. This is the first year they’re going to have it, but I think it’s really cool because I don’t think a lot of people see real skateboarding. They only see skateboarding as being for people who do drugs and stuff. I feel like there are those stereotypes, and I think it’s really cool to try to get rid of the stereotypes, and show what skating actually is. It’s just having fun and just competing.
Right now, I think they’re talking about having a competition in March. But from what I’ve heard, a lot of it is based on vaccine progress from whatI know. That’s what they’re saying, but nothing’s really set. I would assume they’re trying to get contests but I don’t know. At this point I have no idea anymore.
Yeah, it’s very nice to have somewhere in my backyard where I can just go out there and skate. All my friends have been asking me like, “Oh, can I come over to your backyard and see you skateboard?” But all the stuff in my backyard is kind of small, so I can’t do everything. But I can at least do most of it.
One of my coaches lives in Southern California. I saw him at the start of summer, but not really much anymore since the pandemic has been getting worse. But I do use some Zoom calls with the USA skateboarding personal trainer. And the training for that. And then in my town too, we have a trainer, his name’s Brandon, which I work with. But I had to stop for a little bit because I sprained my ankle so I couldn’t really do much.
Oh, yeah, I’m fine now. But it kind of stopped me for like a few weeks. I had a boot because it was a pretty bad sprain, it was doing something stupid too, so…
Yeah, definitely, because I don’t really know how many contests we’ll do. Maybe one or two, which is not that much.
I don’t know. I just try to do the best I can. Right now, for me, it’s hard to have a mindset when I can’t really know when it’s going to happen, so it’s weird. But overall I am just going to have fun with it which is the most important thing anyways.
Right now, definitely just make the Olympics. And I don’t know. I keep saying this, but just the timing right now is just terrible. It feels like I’m stuck in like… I don’t know. It’s like I’m just stuck in a specific time. And everyone is, but I hate it so much. So right now I’m just thinking about getting out of this moment and competing at the Olympics.