Encinitas Olympian Inspires Community of Skaters After Debut in Women's Park Event

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Encinitas local, Bryce Wettstein, is changing the game for skateboarders around the world. The San Dieguito High School senior made history Tuesday night after completing the Olympics’ first-ever Skateboard event.

NBC 7 caught up with some of Wettstein’s supporters who cheered her on from her hometown in Encinitas.

“It was just amazing and to see her shine out there with her personality and the love she has for everyone and putting Encinitas, and the YMCA on the map,” said Mike Wilson, the Skatepark Transportation Director at the Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA Skate Park, where Wettstein grew up skating.

“She would sit in there at a young age and just practice her tricks over and over and over, ‘til she perfected and that wasn’t something you’d see from young kids,” said Wilson, as he reflected back on Wettstein’s skateboarding career.

Wilson said he remembered when Wettstein was only 5 years old and came to the skatepark with her father. He said the father-daughter duo was quiet at first, but quickly became part of the YMCA family. Wilson became emotional when asked how he felt about playing a role in Wettstein’s success.

“I’m a crier!” Wilson laughed. “It’s crazy because it’s just a job but when you see those kids make it to the top it’s everything.”

Wilson said there weren’t many young female skaters when Wettstein started. He said many more have joined the sport, thanks to role models like Wettstein.

“People look up to her, watching her and feel like they have a chance as well,” said Josslyn Brownlee, enrolled in the YMCA summer skate camp.

“You see that dream being realized and them being happy and it’s so emotional being a part of that and working through it with them,” Wilson said.

Wettstein placed 6 out of 20 at the Women's Park Tokyo Olympics event.

Listen/Subscribe to NBC 7’s Olympic Dreams: San Diego to Tokyo podcast wherever you enjoy listening to podcasts. On each episode, NBC 7 News Today anchor Steven Luke will sit down with athletes in their prime, each with their sights set on one thing: representing Team USA in Tokyo this summer. How will they achieve their Olympic dreams?

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