San Diego to Tokyo

Backyard Olympic Dreams: Teen Skateboarder Juggles School, Training for shot at 2020 Summer Olympics

Bryce Wettstein, a 15-year-old from Encinitas, is training for chance to compete in skateboarding at 2020 Summer Olympics

When skateboarding makes its Olympic debut in Tokyo, Japan, next summer, the world will watch a new generation of young athletes display their dazzling skills on wheels on the largest stage in sports.

Bryce Wettstein, 15, of Encinitas, is already on the Team USA shortlist for a shot at history.

There's just one problem for Wettstein: finding the time to train in the middle of everything else she loves.

The sophomore at San Dieguito Academy is trying to stay in public school while competing against a pool of top skaters who have already gone the home-school route to make their training and travel schedules more manageable.

Wettstein is also an avid surfer, snowboarder, and club volleyball player.

Add in a love of music, poetry, and reading, and it's easy to see why time is her biggest Olympic road block.

Wettstein was 5 years old when she started skateboarding. The family had a basic "mini ramp" in their backyard, but continued to expand it over the years to the skate "bowl" it is today.

While skating is a family affair -- her dad, mom, and younger sister all dabble -- the teen has taken it to a new level.

She doesn't have a true coach and choreographs many of her own routines herself.

"Whenever I see something new or a new idea, I want to go for it because there's so many different possibilities, so many ways to do something," said Wettstein, who considers the sport an art.

She is considered one of the nation's top transition skaters and travels the world for competitions.

She was recently one of 16 Americans named to the inaugural U.S. National Skateboarding team based on performance in international level events.

But her spot on the Olympic team is anything but a given.

Wettstein will have to do well at a series of important qualifying events over the next several months to make it to Tokyo.

Which is where the "time" factor comes into play.

Wettstein's parents both work and can't drive her around town to skate ramps on a daily basis to train.

So, the family with one skate ramp in their backyard already decided to build a second ramp -- this time a "vertical ramp" to help her get more air.

"I just had this idea," said Max Wettstein, Bryce's dad. "We had the room to maybe build it for one year and our neighbors were all very kind to let us do it."

The family plans to donate the ramp to the local YMCA after the Olympics are over.

Wettstein's parents say they're just trying to support their daughter's dreams and stay out of the way.

But, when you're 15 years old, you need a little more help to make your dreams a reality, especially when it involves competing in the Olympics.

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