12 year old skateboarder

A 12-Year Old




earn champion on the one hand
fun on hand on the other hand
funny head for tender (2)
push miss (3) knock off (2)
at all train (2) bring back
tick (3) goal (2) off balance
limit trick (2) test her limit
dare level (3) make it (2)
express creativity balance (3)
bother standard just for fun
bakery slide (2) know/knew/known
get to fabulous on the road
mentor take part competitive
qualify reachable feel/felt/felt (2)
medal last time time on the road
phase decisive begin/began/begun
hold/held/held (2)


Video: A Twelve-Year-Old Skateboarder



Lilly Stoephasius, Skateboarder: “To me, skateboarding is on the one hand, something I want to do professionally, and later on earn money with. On the other hand, it’s just my hobby, and I have fun doing it.”

Lilly Stoephasius is Germany’s best skateboarder. At the tender age of twelve, she’s a two-time German champion. Now, she’s heading for the Olympics, and won’t let anything knock her off balance.

Lilly Stoephasius, Skateboarder: “Sometimes I go to the skate park, and the boys look at me funny because I’m a girl. But I don’t let that bother me at all.”

The young Berliner trains up to four times a week.

Jurgen Horrwarth, German National Skateboarding Coach: “Last time you were just a tick faster.”

Jurgen Horrwarth is a German national skateboarding coach, and Lily’s mentor. He pushes her to test her limits.

Jurgen Horrwarth, German National Skateboarding Coach: “That was a trick that takes a little bit more daring. She didn’t always make it. But now she’s practicing the trick on the next level. And that’s exactly what you have to do to get better fast.”

Her father Oliver, is always on hand. He’s been skateboarding for over forty years himself. He started Lily and her little sister Torah on skateboards when they were just a few years old.

At first, it was just for fun.

Oliver Stoephasius, Lily’s Father: “All I knew was that it was a hobby or sport that I had lots of fun doing, one where you can express your creativity. And of course, I didn’t want them to miss that.

At the start, nobody though it would develop in the direction of a competitive sport; they could have said ‘No, I just want to take the skateboard to take down to the bakery.’”

But now, Lilly Stoephasius is sliding from one competition to the next, and on to the German championships in Dusseldorf.

She still goes to school, but is on the road three or four months out of the year.

Lilly Stoephasius, Skateboarder: “I’ve been in China, in the USA. I’ve been almost everywhere in Europe, and it’s fabulous because you get to see almost the whole world.”

Skateboarding will be an Olympic sport for the first time at the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo. Lily’s coming ever close to her goal of taking part.

Jurgen Horrwarth, German National Skateboarding Coach: “By European standards, she’s one of the best. And by international standards, she’s right where she needs to be to qualify for Tokyo.

So it’s definitely reachable for her.”

Public interest in her ought to reach new heights if she ends up going to the Tokyo Olympics. Then, at age thirteen, she’s be the youngest German Olympic competitor ever.

Lilly Stoephasius, Skateboarder: “If I qualify, I’d like to be able to enjoy it, and not feel that I have to make it to the top ten or something. In four years when I’m seventeen, I might qualify again. And then I can start thinking of bringing back a medal.”

The decisive qualification phase begins in February. Then, once again, Lilly Stoephasius will be spending more time on the road than at school. Fortunately, the Tokyo Olympics will be held during the summer vacation.


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1. Lily is an ordinary skateboarder. True or false?

2. Does she have natural talent, or does she practice and train very much, or both?

3. Two men were featured in the report. Who were these two men?

4. Lilly started skateboarding when she was ten years old. Is this right or wrong?

5. From the beginning, did Lilly want to become an Olympic skateboarding champion? When she started skateboarding, did she want to become a professional?

6. She only competes in Berlin, her hometown. Is this correct or incorrect?

7. Is skateboarding an old, Olympic sport? Where does she hope to go in the near future?


A. My friends and I ride skateboards. I can ride a skateboard. Yes or no?

B. Is skateboarding popular in your city? Do you see people skateboarding?

C. What is your favorite Olympic sport? Do you wish you could compete in the Olympics?

D. What sports and hobbies are popular in your city and country?

E. What might happen in the future?

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