When Poppy Starr Olsen picked up a skateboard at 8 years of age, she couldn't imagine where those wheels would take her.
“I remember I was walking home with a family friend and he just let me have go on the skateboard on my way back home,” she told The Morning Show. “I really liked it so he gave it to me.”
But first the 8 year old had to convince her parents and that was going to be a slightly more difficult task.
“When I first started skating, they weren’t too sure about it because of all these stereotypical ideas they had in their head.”
“Now the more I do it, they have started to realise how supportive the community is and they really like it”
While the first couple of runs on the skateboard didn’t go smoothly, the tenacious Olsen persevered.
“It was really scary when I did certain things but I just thought I really liked how exciting it was and just kept on doing it.”
It wasn’t long before the Newcastle skateboarder was showing off her skills in competitions.
“I only had a couple of tricks and I somehow won the competition and I really got excited about that and started to love competition."
Soon enough Olsen’s talent was recognised and the teenager was invited to world cup competitions. The skateboarder has gone on to become of the pioneering, and most dominant, names in Australian women’s skateboarding.
Olsen is currently the only female placed in the Australian Bowl-Riding Top 10 and in February 2016, she claimed her fourth Open Girls title at the Australian Bowl-Riding Championship.
To challenge herself she also competed in the Men’s Pro division where the 16 year old made it to the semi finals eventually finishing 16th in a field of 40 men.
Internationally she has also started to make her mark when she placed 5th in the Swedish Vert Attack, the largest Vert competition in Europe.
That achievement saw her become the first Australian female invited to the summer X-Games where she finished 9th in Austin, Texas.
All the world travel and competition would be enough for anyone but not for this teenager. Although now a professional skateboarder, this wasn’t always the case and Olsen found an inventive way to fund her travels.
“I started making art and jewellery a couple of years after I started skating because I realised I really wanted to go overseas because that’s where all the skating is.”
“So I started doing this [the business] to help fund my trips overseas. I started off making cards and now I have expanded into jewellery.”
The business took off to the point where she received an invite from the prestigious Ted Talks to talk about her success.
Back from Texas earlier last month, Olsen is now taking a break before her next travels for the Vans US Open in California.