Rayssa Leal and Leticia Bufoni: always stronger together

There is a brotherhood in skateboarding like no other, and it belongs to Rayssa Leal and Leticia Bufoni.

WATCH: World Street Skateboarding Rome 2022 live on Olympics.com

One is one Tokyo 2020 Olympic silver medalist; the other is a six-time X Games gold medalist. But together they share a unique bond that goes beyond the streets and rails.

Often seen hanging out together on social media, their friendship has inspired thousands of fans around the world.

So how did it all start?

It all started when the legendary “godfather” of skateboarding Tony Hawk shared a video on his social networks.

Scrolling through Twitter, Hawk discovered a clip of a seven-year-old Leal dressed head to toe like a fairy kicking a flight of stairs.

The ‘Fadinha do Skate’ (skate fairy) from Maranhão impressed him so much that he shared the video with his seal of approval and it quickly went viral.

After her video racked up millions of views, Leal was later tracked down and interviewed. She revealed that her number one inspiration for skateboarding was Bufoni and she was looking forward to meeting her one day.

A television company then stepped in to make his dream a reality. They invited Leal on the show and surprised her with Bufoni reducing the young Brazilian to tears of joy.

MORE: The most asked questions about Rayssa Leal

Just two years later, Leal started joining Bufoni to compete in some of skateboarding’s biggest events and the eldest skater immediately took the young prodigy under her wing to support her.

At Tokyo 2020 in 2021, when the pair wore the national colors to represent Brazil in their sport’s Olympic debut, Bufoni and Leal showed the world how close they were.

As Leal etched his name in the history books by winning an Olympic silver medal aged just 13, Bufoni was at his side to congratulate

Kissing, smiling, clapping – their friendship captured the hearts of millions who were watching Olympic skateboarding for the first time.

Credit – Leticia Bufoni Instagram Stories

Leticia Bufoni: “Far but always close”

Even now, the two are closer than ever.

Often referring to each other as “mom” and “daughter,” the two regularly post updates of their friendship in action.

To celebrate Bufoni’s 29th birthday (April 13, 2022), Leal shared a post on his social media congratulating his idol:

“Today is the day of my greatest inspiration” wrote Leal on Instagram. “Thank you so much for the encouragement, advice and all the jokes we make together.

“Soon we’ll be skating and making fun of it again. I miss you mom,” Rayssa joked, hinting at the nature of their friendship.

Just before the launch of Paris 2024 street skate Olympic qualifier in Rome, Italy, where Leal are competing this week, Bufoni posted a photo of the two during a video call to his Instagram Story with the words “Longe mas perto semper” meaning “far but still close.”

In support of the post, Leal reposted the photo on his own Instagram, revealing that even from a long distance, the two are still thinking of each other.

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