Team USA Snags Three Pan American Games Skateboarding Medals
by Kristen Gowdy
SANTIAGO, CHILE – Led by gold from 19-year-old Taylor Nye (Costa Mesa, California) in men’s park, skateboarders from Team USA captured three medals in the sport’s inaugural Pan American Games Santiago 2023 competition in Santiago, Chile. Two American women – Bryce Wettstein (Encinitas, California) and Paige Heyn (Tempe, Arizona) – landed on the podium with bronzes in women’s park and street, respectively, to round out the haul for Team USA.
Nye got off to a strong start, throwing down an 86.68 on his first run in Santiago. He held the lead over the rest of the field across all three runs, most notably upsetting Brazil’s Augusto Akio, the second-ranked men’s park athlete in the world.
“I can’t believe I was able to represent my country in the first-ever Pan American Games skateboard men’s park competition,” Nye wrote on his Instagram. “This was an experience I will never forget and I’m so grateful.”
Heyn, 15, is the youngest Team USA athlete on the 631-member Pan American Games roster but showed poise beyond her years by earning bronze in women’s street. Her score of 176.35 was behind only Brazilians Rayssa Leal and Pamela Rosa.
Looking to qualify for her first Olympic Games next summer, Heyn currently sits ninth in the Olympic World Skateboarding Rankings and is the highest-ranked Team USA athlete in women’s street.
Wettstein, meanwhile, is seeking her second Olympic berth after debuting at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and made the women’s park podium with a first-run score of 79.95.
The 19-year-old is coming off a ninth-place finish at the 2023 park world championships, and is Team USA’s second-ranked women’s park skateboarder.
“To have two women on the podium is something that I feel like is a big treasure in life,” Wettstein said. “The fact that we’ll always have this in our life, we have this memory forever. It’s something that really touches you. You have to stand still and breathe it all in, but it means the world.”
With skateboarding competition concluded in Santiago, skateboarders from Team USA will set their sights on the Olympic qualifying events that will provide them with the opportunity to earn spots on the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team.
For media requests and photo inquiries, please contact Kristen Gowdy at Kristen.Gowdy@usopc.org.