Skateboarder Minna Stess Hopes to Meet Simone Biles at Tokyo Summer Olympics: I 'Look Up to Her'

Nicholas Rice
·2 min read

Moniz Franco; Ulrik Pedersen/NurPhoto via Getty

For skateboarder Minna Stess, there is so much to look forward to if she qualifies for the upcoming Tokyo Summer Olympics — but meeting Simone Biles happens to be at the top of her list.

While recently chatting with PEOPLE ahead of the Games this July, the 15-year-old athlete says that meeting Biles, 24, would essentially be a dream come true.

"She's really cool," Stess says of the famed gymnast. "I've watched a lot of her and her achievements and I really look up to her."

Biles — who is the most decorated American gymnast of all time — attended the 2016 Summer Olympics, while Stess is hoping to secure her spot at the Games for the first time, as skateboarding was only added to the roster for Tokyo.

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Minna Stess

Stess, a young California skateboarder, says that her love of the sport began at a very young age through the influence of a loved one.

"I was around two, almost two, and my brother started skating, so I just wanted to copy him and be like him," she says. "So I just tried to get on a board [and] ride around the skate park with him."

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Moniz Franco

Now all these years later, with numerous skating achievements under her belt, Stess has enhanced her craft as "there's always something new to learn."

"The whole skate community is really cool and you always meet new people," she tells PEOPLE. "Everything about [skating is] just awesome. I don't know what I do without it, my life would be so boring."

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And for Stess, being the youngest member Team USA Skateboarding brings no additional challenges as her teammates are just happy to skate with other like-minded professionals.

"Obviously I'm the youngest, but ... everyone's just skating," she tells PEOPLE. "Age isn't that big of a [deal]. Everyone just gets along in skating."

Stess also says that she has known many of her teammates for most of her life, which has "definitely" allowed them to build a strong dynamic.

"I've known most of them for a while, like, even before all the Olympic stuff ... since I was probably five I've known them," she notes.

To learn more about all the Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics this summer on NBC.