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Two 12-year-old girls qualified to compete in the first-ever Olympic skateboarding event

Very few 12-year-olds get the chance to make history, but a pair of skateboarding phenoms may be headed to Tokyo this summer to do just that as two of the youngest-ever summer Olympians.

Kokona Hiraki and Sky Brown aren't you're typical skateboarders, nor are they your typical preteens. You don't get to the Olympics at 12 by being ordinary. Both girls have qualified to compete in the first-ever Olympic skateboarding event, with Hiraki skating for Japan and Brown representing Great Britain. Both girls compete in the park skateboarding event, which involves doing tricks on skate park-style ramps and bowls. Street skateboarding, which involves tricks done on stairs, handrails, benches, walls and slopes, will also be making its debut as an Olympic sport.

Brown currently ranks as the third-best female park skateboarding competitor in the world at age 12 (though she'll be 13 by the time she reaches Tokyo). Hiraki ranks sixth in the world. At age 12.

Did I mention they are 12 years old? TWELVE. Unreal.


Hiraki will compete as the youngest Olympian ever from Japan. Five of the top ten ranking female park skaters, including the top two, are Japanese, so competition from the country is fierce. But Hiraki told The Japan Times she didn't let nerves get the better of her at the qualifier.

"I was enjoying it just as usual," she said. "I wasn't as nervous as usual."

Sky Brown would have been Britain's youngest ever Olympian if the Olympics hadn't been postponed by a year, but that year turned out to be a good thing for her chances to compete anyway. In June of 2020, Brown suffered horrifying injuries during a training fall in which she fractured her skull and broke her wrist and hand. The fact that she was able to recover, continue training, and then take home second place in the Olympic qualifier is truly something.


Brown doesn't seem too fazed by any of her skating success or the pressures many athletes feel trying to get to the Olympics. "I'm always wonderfully surprised to see where it takes me," she told ESPN. "So, I'm not too stressed about the Olympics. I just want to see what happens and enjoy the journey."

Gracious, these babies and their cool-as-a-cucumber confidence.

Last year, skateboarding legend Tony Hawk told ESPN that Brown is "a unicorn" in the world of skating.

"She has incredible potential," he said. "She could definitely be one of the best female skaters ever, if not one of the best, well-rounded skaters ever, regardless of gender. She has such confidence, such force, even at such a young age. The way she's able to learn new tricks and the way she absorbs direction, it's so rare."

Whether they end up medaling or not, to qualify for the Olympics at 12 is extraordinary and their futures in the sport are incredibly bright. Go, girls, go.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Co-sleeping isn't for everyone.

The marital bed is a symbol of the intimacy shared between people who’ve decided to be together 'til death they do part. When couples sleep together it’s an expression of their closeness and how they care for one another when they are most vulnerable.

However, for some couples, the marital bed can be a warzone. Throughout the night couples can endure snoring, sleep apnea, the ongoing battle for sheets or circadian rhythms that never seem to sync. If one person likes to fall asleep with the TV on while the other reads a book, it can be impossible to come to an agreement on a good-night routine.

Last week on TODAY, host Carson Daly reminded viewers that he and his wife Siri, a TODAY Food contributor, had a sleep divorce while she was pregnant with their fourth child.

“I was served my sleep-divorce papers a few years ago,” he explained on TODAY. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. We both, admittedly, slept better apart.”

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