Brazilian skater Pamela Rosa won four of the five Olympic qualifier events she competed in last year. These included her second consecutive Dew Tour win, wins at Street League London and the Street League World Championships in her home state of São Paulo, and a win at the Oi Stu Open in Rio de Janeiro. And that fifth qualifier she didn’t win? She settled for 2nd at Street League Los Angeles.

Previously known as a shy and unassuming teen skater, Pamela used to seem sincerely surprised every time she won anything. Now 20 years old, she’s finally starting to flex a little bit. Her backdrop for this video interview was set up in a trophy room in her home in São José dos Campos, in front of a bookshelf straining under the weight of two Dew Tour trophies, six X Games medals, three Street League trophies, and the first trophy for Outstanding Skateboard Performance ever awarded by the Comitê Olímpico do Brasil.

Photo Credit: Ferra

Speaking of flex, she wore a bejeweled gold dress and spectacular gold and diamond necklace to the awards ceremony for that last award. Shots fired! She says recognition from her country’s Olympic committee and the media attention that came from it helped bring home the reality that she’s currently the gold medal favorite for skateboarding’s debut at the Tokyo Olympics, sitting way, way ahead in the World Skate rankings.

We caught up with Pamela (with a Portuguese translation assist from her manager Hamilton Freitas) to chat about going for her third consecutive Dew Tour win in September, her momentum heading into the Tokyo Olympics, her fervent football fandom, and how she’s handling the current pause in the contest calendar.

Let’s start with last year. You won just about everything and you were skating with a level of speed and confidence that we’ve never really seen from you before. Was there anything you did differently last year that you attribute all that success to?
I prepared better than ever on my skateboard, in my workouts, and especially in my mind. I wanted it, I felt I deserved it, and I worked so hard to make it happen. The mind game is a big part of it for me, and everything has to be step-by-step. In 2019 I put in my mind that whatever contest I’m going for, I’m going to try to win. My first goal is always to get into the final, then it’s to get onto the podium, then to go for the win. This whole Olympic qualification process started with Street League London, so that was the first step. I got hurt in London in 2018 so it was in my mind that I needed to come back with confidence. I was so happy to win that, it was my first victory in Street League.

And then Dew Tour was the second Olympic qualifier for Skateboard Street and you won it for the second time in a row. Why do you think you’re so comfortable at Dew Tour in particular?
The California environment just makes me feel good! The next step for me, after London, was to set up in California, staying with my friends Ana Paula Negrao and Kelvin Hoefler, just to have access to all the great skateparks and really be in the heart of it with all the other skaters for a few weeks before Dew Tour. In 2019 I stayed in California for a total of three months. It’s easier to prepare in California because there are so many good skateparks. We have one in my city now but we didn’t even have one before last year. Nothing can compare to being able to skate at parks like El Sereno in Los Angeles, or the Berrics, or Vans, or CATF. But things are changing around here in Brazil: we are starting to build some good parks. At Dew Tour, I got a lot of practice on the course the week of the contest and started to get a good feeling about it right away. I hope next time it will be the same!

You won the Street League World Championships in São Paulo, too. It must have felt good to get that win in front of the home country.
It’s not just the home country. Where I live, São José dos Campos, is in the state of São Paulo, about an hour from where they had the World Championships. It felt so good.


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Obrigada ao COB, @timebrasil e a @cbskskate pelo apoio nesse ano. Que noite especial! ❤️

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Tell me about this award you got from the Comitê Olímpico do Brasil.
COB is the Brazilian Olympic Committee. This trophy is for the high standard in skateboarding performance during the year. I was so proud of that. To be recognized at all for skateboarding in Brazil is unusual, and to be on the same stage as the other Brazilian Olympic athletes like that was amazing. The Confederação Brasileira de Skate, the CBSK, has worked hard to organize skateboarding in Brazil for a long time, so I was proud to represent CBSK, too.

You’re a big football fan, right? I saw on Instagram that your local team made you a special Pamela Rosa jersey.
It was a dream come true! Everyone in Brazil loves football. I got to hang out with Dani Alves and the other players for the SBFC – the São Paulo Football Club – and they invited me to use their training facility. There were a lot of highlights last year and that was a big one.

What’s the situation like where you live now?
I’ve been in Brazil since November, which is the longest I’ve been home in a few years. I was scheduled to be in the U.S. for a couple of months before coronavirus put a stop to everything. Here in our city, using masks is now an obligation. Pretty much everything is shut down, all public parks are closed. Just essential work is all that’s open, and if you’re working, you’ve got to use a mask. Changing the Olympics and canceling all these other contests was tough news to get but it was the best decision for the whole world and I respect that they did the right thing.

Have you been skating much?
I built a small setup in my garage with a ledge, a small ramp, and a flat bar rail, just for home practice. I’ve been playing video games, watching Netflix, reading books, working out in my garage. I live with my mom and dad and it’s been really good to spend time with them.

Any new bucket list tricks you’re working on in the garage or that you’d like to learn in time for the Olympics?
Yes, but it’s a secret! For sure I’m working on new tricks but I don’t know if I should show them. Maybe I will show them at Dew Tour.


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Que saudade do meu companheiro || Miss you Long Beach @dewtour

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