These are our current up-and-coming Athletes

Cordano Russell

The 6-foot-3, 230 pound skateboarder defying expectations

"Hi! I'm Cordano and I'm from Carlsbad CA. My faith reflects in everything I do, especially with the constant pressure to perform. On a day-to-day basis, I like to stay active. I've been pursuing professional skateboarding for a decade & a half, it's my passion that has opened up a lot of doors for me. I am on the Canadian Olympic Team for skateboarding. I make friends really easily, I get it from my dad. I swear if you were to meet him he'll encourage you one way or the other. I'm admitted to USD on a Presidential Scholarship. Ever since I was a kid I valued academics. l'm planning to study Business Finance.
My mom is first-generation Italian, so it's in my blood. Also if you couldn't tell, I'm a family guy. I love my two younger siblings! Enough of me, hope to meet y'all soon!"


CORDANO RUSSELL, or "Macho" as he has been called by his mother and father throughout his upbringing; was born in London, Ontario, Canada in the summer of 2004. At age 4 he stumbled upon a skateboard while on a walk with his family in St. Louis MO, and the item immediately resonated with his spirit-reminiscent of the story of Moses and the Burning Bush. He was instantly hooked!

The St. Louis skate scene was extremely tight knit, and Cordano would always be on adventures with skateboarders that were usually much older. It was the influence of his older peers; and the love and support he received from his father and mother, of course, that helped to inform Cordano's mental toughness, grit and dedication, both on and off the skateboard at an early age.

By age 8- and after a vision that his parent's had of moving to Southern California to help give Cordano a better chance of succeeding in his new passion- Cordano was living in Carlsbad, CA. He immediately made waves in the youth competition circuit and beyond, and over the last ten years he developed into an absolute powerhouse of a skateboarder (and young man)!

On The Road to Paris 2024 Olympics

"Wow, what a journey it has been! After an amazing World skate Event in Dubai last week, I moved up two spots in Olympic World Rankings to 11th! It’s crazy to think 4 events ago I was unranked. Thanks to everyone who helped me get this far. Now we’re on to Phase 2 of Olympic Qualification!"


This is how a Champion rolls!

Boipelo Awuah

‘The Diamond of Kimberley’

  • Growing up, Awuah would 'steal' her older brother's skateboard whenever he left it at home. She would climb on the board and ride around the house and out of sight of her protective parents, who did not initially approve of Awuah skateboarding. Her mother finally caved and allowed Awuah to go to the local skate park with her father, fueling her passion for the sport. "That's where it all started. I bought my own skateboard, it wasn't like a proper skateboard, but I was hyped to have one of my own," she recalled. "I remember dropping into a quarter pipe, like an axle stall and drop-in, and the first time I went for it, I flipped and fell on my head. I was about seven at this point, but I was just so excited. "I just got back up trying it before I got it right. But I did not tell my mom about the experience because, eish, she oesn't like it, you know, until this day she still doesn't watch me skate because I fall so much."


    Falling is par for the course but learning new tricks in a place like Kimberley can be tricky. Even though the diamond town is considered the capital of the Northern Cape, it is small compared to other major cities in South Africa. Much of Awuah's skills are self-taught while she has picked up a few tips from other skateboarders she hangs out with. She has also turned to YouTube, but the videos were no substitute for real-world experience. "I don't have a coach, so all of this is like by myself, I teach myself all these new tricks, but our manager is also a skateboarder, and I'll ask for advice from my manager or some of my peers," said Awuah. But as the skill level increases, it's kind of difficult to get help from other people because they're not at that level. "So most of the time, I just need to figure it out by myself. I try doing the trick and not fully commit at first just to get used to the feeling of the trick. When I feel like I'm ready, I'll just do it, commit until I get used to it. Once I landed, I just do it over and over. It's like I finally have it unlocked for competitions and stuff like that."

    Skateboarding in South Africa did not have a formal administrative body, and it has only in recent years been brought under the purview of a recognized federation. Two years ago, Roller Sport South Africa provisionally adopted skateboarding to assist the athletes in getting to international competitions to earn points towards qualifying for the Games. Roller Sport South Africa hosted the country's first national championships for skateboarders in December 2020. Due to the pandemic, they held the second one six months later to provide the athletes with an extra opportunity to earn points. The top two athletes in each discipline and gender would be selected for the world championships, which served as the final qualifying competition for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Awuah won both national championships to earn a qualifying place in Rome, where she qualified as the highest-ranked skateboarder from Africa in her discipline.

  • Awuah made her maiden international appearance at the world championships, where she failed to make it past the qualifying stages. However, Awuah got to rub shoulders with some of her skateboarding idols at the world championships, where she got to ask for advice. "I've always looked up to Nyjah Huston ever since I started skateboarding, and I got to meet him," Awuah said with excitement in her voice. "I got a picture with him, and we had a conversation, which is weird because I look up to these people, and now, they're like my friends, kind of. "It's super cool. I just talked about how they inspired me and all that, and I ask for some tips because with the Olympics coming up, I don't want to focus too much on it, like a job. But I still want to do my best at the Olympics and not take the fun out of skateboarding. I just spoke to them about all of that."


    Awuah qualified for street skateboarding at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. However, things did not go according to plan for the South African skateboarder, as a fall on the second day of practice left Awuah with a fractured pelvis, eliminating her from the competition.


    Her exploits in street skateboarding have earned her the moniker, 'The diamond of Kimberley'. It is a term Awuah carries with pride. "Ever since I was a kid, they always called me 'The diamond of Kimberley' till today, so that's a huge thing to me," she said. "I've always dreamed about representing my country and skating at international events. I hope this is just the beginning, and I learn from this experience of representing South Africa at the Olympics and hopefully win at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games."


    Awuah hopes to become the first South African female to turn professional in the sport and help develop skateboarding among women. She attributes much of her success to compete with boys at her local skate park but hopes to see more girls discover the joys of landing their first trick. "It's super competitive, but then, like I normally skate with the boys, out here, so my level, I'm like there," Awuah says as she illustrates raising one hand above the other. "Then the female skaters coming up the gap is like that big. "I definitely want to leave that legacy behind, and I feel like I've already started paving the way."


Jordyn Barratt

First female to compete as a pro in both US Open skate and surf in the same year.

First female to qualify for the Dew Tour Park Am contest.

  • Tokyo 2020 Olympics, 11th (Women's Park)
  • First Place at Vans Park Series in Malmo, Sweden
  • Third Place at Vans Park Series World Championships
  • Two-times X-Games Medalist