The Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be quite different from all the other games in the past—there will no spectators and it will take place while the host city Tokyo is under a state of emergency due to the pandemic. After delay and drawn-out discussions, the Olympics will kick off July 23 and organisers hope that it will be a "light at the end of the tunnel."
Ahead of the Olympics, we're spotlighting female athletes who are at the top of their game and inspiring the next generation. From the first Filipino to win a major golf tournament to the first Malaysian woman to win an Olympic medal, here are 15 contenders we'll be cheering for in Tokyo and beyond.
1. Margie Didal
Margielyn "Margie" Didal is the first Filipino athlete to qualify for the Olympics in skateboarding, a sport making its debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. She rose to prominence after the X Games Minneapolis in 2018, where she was the first competitor to represent the Philippines. She was also the first Filipino skateboarder to compete in the Street League Skateboarding event. But her biggest achievement so far is winning the gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games where she nabbed the most points in the whole women's street park event.
Didal was the only girl among a crew of skateboarders in Cebu where she grew up and her parents were initially skeptical. To encourage other young women to take up skateboarding, she had her a custom skate park built in her hometown. It has since become the training venue for the national skateboarding team.