12. Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight (ft. Simone Manuel & Jordyn Barratt)

12. Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight (ft. Simone Manuel & Jordyn Barratt)

Welcome back to season two of Toyota Untold! This season, we’re bringing you even more behind-the-scenes looks at Toyota and Lexus.

We’re kicking off this season with some inspiring interviews with Team Toyota athletes one year out from the Olympics & Paralympics Games Tokyo 2020. On this episode, we talk to swimmer Simone Manuel, the first African-American woman to win an individual Olympic gold medal in swimming, and skateboarder Jordyn Barratt, who is hoping to make it to Tokyo for the sport’s Olympic debut.

Full transcript below:

<MUSIC> 

 Jordyn Barratt: [00:00:00] A quote that I’ve always loved that my mom always told me was fall downseven times, get up eight. So, I’ve always like kind of taken that with me throughout my life and pretty much anything I’ve done. 

 Simone Manuel: [00:00:13] My goals are my goals, and I shouldn’t let otheroutside factors kind of hinder me from reaching those. And so, I think that’s really whatmobility stands for is really kind of going after everything without any restrictions. 

 INTRO 

 Kelsey Soule: [00:00:29] We’re back. 

 Tyler Litchenberger: [00:00:30] Woo-hoo, season two. 

 Kelsey Soule: [00:00:32] Yes. Welcome back to season two of Toyota Untold. I’m Kelsey. 

 Tyler Litchenberger: [00:00:35] And I’m Tyler. And we’ve got an amazing first episode for you. But before we get into it we just wanted to say thank you to everyone listening. Season one was kind of like a test season for us. And so, we just wanted to see how it went, and it went really well. A lot of you listened. And we weren’t sure who would be interested in the Toyota podcast, but we got great feedback. So, here we are, by popular demand, season two. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:00:59] That’s right. We’re back at it. And this season, we’re bringing you even more behind-the-scenes looks intoToyota and Lexus because we can’t forget our luxury brand. So, we hope you’ll keep listening. Some orders of business first. We’re going to ask you to hit subscribe if you haven’t already, so that you get the episodes straight to your phone. Turn on the notifications and buckle up because we’re going to have a good time. 

 Tyler Litchenberger: [00:01:28] Yes. All right. So, today we’re going to talk about the Olympics. And you may remember, from the Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchangin 2018, the Toyota is a global partner of the International Olympic Committee, IOC, and the International Paralympic Committee, IPC. We launched our Start Your Impossible campaign with those super inspiring commercials where I ugly cried during most of them. And we’re have the privilege of sponsoring some amazing athletes. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:01:59] That’s right. So, last year in Pyeongchang, we had some big wins. Team USA and Team Toyota’s Chloe Kim won gold in the women’s half pipe snowboarding event, which was incredible. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:02:10] Amazing. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:02:10] And Paralympian Oksana Masters nabbed two gold medals in women’s sitting cross country. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:02:16] USA. USA. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:02:18] That’s right. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:02:19] And Team Toyota did not mess around. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:02:22] No, we did not. And now, we’re one year away from the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. And Toyota is sponsoring 14 New Team USA athletes and hopefuls and three returning US Paralympians to Team Toyota. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:02:36] Yep, we got the chance to talk to some of our new athletes to get to know them and to learn about that athlete life. It’s pretty interestinghow the different training is for different sports including new sports. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:02:47] Right. I don’t think it’s as glamorous as a lot of people think- 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:02:49] No. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:02:49] … because they’re constantly working, but yes. So, we talked to some athletes who are hoping to compete in sports that are new to the Olympic Games, which is crazy, because if you think about it, they trained for years. And then, ultimately, there’s a chance that they may not make it to the games, which then where did all the work go? 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:03:06] I know. And when they came here to our campus, we even had to carve out some time at our gyms, so they can make a stop there to keep training. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:03:13] The commitment is- 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:03:14] Real. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:03:14] Let’s start with the traditional Olympic sport. We talked to Simone Manuel who’s already won two gold and two silver medals from the Olympic Games Rio in 2016, making her the first African-American woman to win an individual Olympic gold medal in swimming. And, now, she’s planning to take on Tokyo. 

 <MUSIC ENDS CAR ZOOM> 

 INTERVIEW W/ SIMONE MANUEL 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:03:32] You’re our first Olympian that we’re talking to, which we’re very excited about. Simone Manuel, you are from Sugar Land, Texas. You’re like homegrown here in Texas. 

Simone Manuel: [00:03:42] Yes. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:03:42] That’s awesome. And you graduated from Fort Bend Austin High School. What’s it like being a Texas person? Everything’s bigger in Texas, and you’re representing in the Olympics. 

Simone Manuel: [00:03:53] Yeah. Texas is awesome. I’ve lived here my whole life. It’s my hometown, and I’ve so much support from the State of Texas, and I definitely thinkthat’s why I’ve been so successful in the sport of swimming. And coming home from the Olympics in 2016 was amazing, just seeing the support that the Texans gave me. And we had a lot of athletes there from Houston, Simone Biles, Kassidy Cook, and so many others who did amazing and performed well. So, it’s so awesome to be a Texan and really represent my state. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:04:26] So, can you tell us, like where does your love for swimming grow? Because I will say it when I did swimming, it was exhausting. I mean, I gave up realquick. So, this is a commitment. And I’ve never realized that you could sweat while being in a pool until I was on the swim team. 

Simone Manuel: [00:04:42] But you don’t know it. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:04:43] Yeah, no. 

Simone Manuel: [00:04:43] So, that’s a blessing. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:04:44] Right. You don’t know it- 

Simone Manuel: [00:04:45] Until you get out. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:04:46] So, early on, you must have realized, “I love doing this.” So, tell us about that. 

Simone Manuel: [00:04:51] So, I got into swimming at the age of four just because my parents wanted my two older brothers and I to know how to swim. The drowning rates in swimming are very high for children. And so, they didn’t want to be a part of that statistic. And so, I started swimming at the age of four. I did several other sports growing up – basketball, volleyball, soccer. I danced ballet for nine years. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:05:15] Wow. 

Simone Manuel: [00:05:15] But swimming was the one that I loved the most, and I was always drawn to. Even though I tried all the other sports, swimming was just the one I loved the most. And as I continue to get better and better, I grew love for it. It was fun. I was traveling. I was meeting new people. And so, it’s really been an awesome experience what swimming has brought to my life. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:05:36] And that’s how you get to such a competitive Olympic level. if you don’t love it, then you’re probably not going to get through, right? 

Simone Manuel: [00:05:41] It’s what I always wanted to do. Like I always wanted to go to swim practice. Ballet, I was like, “Oh, this is getting a little old.” 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:05:48] What is it like going to an Olympics? So, Brazil, Rio was your first Olympics. What is it like, the process, and do you feel so much more prepared now? 

Kelsey Soule: [00:05:58] Are you just as nervous? 

Simone Manuel: [00:05:59] It’s a little bit of both. I mean, the process for the Olympics is very grueling. Team USA across the board and all sports is so competitive. And so just the trials process with swimming, sometimes, many people say that it’s harder than the actual Olympics because it’s such a big production. You have the fireworks and the stress of the fact that the top eight in your event could medal at the Olympics. 

Simone Manuel: [00:06:23] So, you’re really going up against the best of the best at trials. So, that’s really stressful, which is something that I’ll have to go through. And even though I do have a little bit of experience with that pressure, I just don’t want to take it for granted. So, I have that experience, but I do get nervous a little bit looking forward to it, but I think it’s going to be okay. I’m really working towards my goals. So, it’s going to turn out just fine. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:06:50] One of the coolest things about the Olympics for me are the opening ceremonies. Like can you explain what that feels like to step out there and represent your country? 

Simone Manuel: [00:06:58] So, bummer, I don’t participate in the opening ceremony. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:07:02] Oh no. Really? 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:07:02] Because your trials, it’s like- 

Simone Manuel: [00:07:03] Swimming starts the next day. And the coaches and the staff- 

Kelsey Soule: [00:07:08] I feel like everyone is going to learn this while I am learning it. 

Simone Manuel: [00:07:10] Yeah. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:07:10] Yeah. 

Simone Manuel: [00:07:10] The coaches and the staff kind of adviseus not to go, especially since I swim the first day, and other swimmers swim the first couple of days because it’s a lot of walking. So, you’re kind of- 

Kelsey Soule: [00:07:22] Wow. 

Simone Manuel: [00:07:23] So, I-. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:07:23] I’m sorry to bring that up. 

Simone Manuel: [00:07:25] It’s. okay. I mean- 

Kelsey Soule: [00:07:27] You’ve had some other good milestones. 

Simone Manuel: [00:07:29] Yeah. It’s bittersweet. It’s like, “If I would have gone, and then not won a gold medal,” you know. So, it’s- 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:07:33] Right. But I think that goes back to what you said about competitiveness, right? Other countries might be like, “Yeah, we’re just happy to be here,” and they’re walking even though they’re swimming. But you’re like- 

Simone Manuel: [00:07:41] Team USA is like, “We want-“ 

Kelsey Soule: [00:07:43] That’s not how we do it. 

Simone Manuel: [00:07:43] “… a high medal count, and you’re going to get it.” 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:07:47] That’s right. Because if you ever see the medal count come up, and you see other countries that are like above you, you’re like, “Excuse me. Like what do you mean we’re not number one?” or like, “Why are they? How are they?” At least, me. I don’t know. I’m secretly competitive. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:08:00] Not secretly competitive. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:08:01] Not secretly competitive. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:08:03] Okay. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:08:04] So how did Toyota come into your life? 

Simone Manuel: [00:08:06] Well- 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:08:08] Just today? 

Simone Manuel: [00:08:08] No. So, I have pretty much grown up in a Toyota. My parents purchase a Toyota Sienna in 2004, and they got all the upgrades. We had a sunroof, a TV in the back, and- 

Kelsey Soule: [00:08:24] Amazing. 

Simone Manuel: [00:08:24] Yeah, it was perfect for traveling. Both of my older brothers play basketball, so we’re travelling with them to go to basketball tournaments, traveling with me to go to various competitions in Texas and practice. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:08:37] Your parents very busy. 

Simone Manuel: [00:08:38] Yes. Lot of mileage on the van. We just got rid of it about- 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:08:43] No. 

Simone Manuel: [00:08:43] … a couple months ago. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:08:46] Oh man. 

Simone Manuel: [00:08:46] And it had 300,000 miles on it. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:08:49] That’s awesome. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:08:50] Yes. So- 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:08:50] Subtle Swagger Wagon. 

Simone Manuel: [00:08:51] Sandy was her name. And she- 

Kelsey Soule: [00:08:56] She’s seen some things. 

Simone Manuel: [00:08:57] Yeah. She’s seen some things, and she’s definitely helpedget us places. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:09:01] That’s awesome. So, now, what do you drive? 

Simone Manuel: [00:09:04] So, right now, I drive a Lexus. So, still in the Toyota family. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:09:08] Yeah, andworking with it. 

Simone Manuel: [00:09:09] Waiting to get my car. I’m excited, but that’s what I drive right now. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:09:13] That’s awesomeHowdid we approach you? How did that happen? 

Kelsey Soule: [00:09:19] How did we begin this relationship? 

Simone Manuel: [00:09:21] So, I got a survey from my agent, and I filled it out, and kind of kind of talked about my experience with Toyota, talked about my hobbies, and a lot of the other questions that were in the survey like what mobility means to me. What starting your impossible means, and just really allowed it to relate to some of the experiences that I’ve had. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:09:46] Yeah. So, what does mobility mean to you? 

Simone Manuel: [00:09:50] So, mobility to me just means like the freedom of movement, which is also something you guys talk about, but really justhaving no restrictions and no bounds on you. And I think that’s really relevantwith my swimming experience. As an African-American in the sport of swimming, I am a minority. And just kind of having the mindset of not letting stereotypes or misconceptions kind of define my experience is something that I’ve really focused on in my career because my goals are my goals, and I shouldn’t let otheroutside factors kind of hinder me from reaching those. And so, I think that’s really whatmobility stands for is really kind of going after everything without any restrictions. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:10:35] Have you been able to deliver that message? Like in addition to competing, are you now kind of turning? Obviously, other little boys and girls look up to you with that message. Like what does that mean to them be able to give that back? 

Simone Manuel: [00:10:47] Yeah. I mean, through my experience of winning the gold medal in the Olympics, I just wanted to inspire people to really get into the water. And I’m a firm believer that representation matters. And I do want to get more little boys and girls in the sport of swimming, especially minoritiesAndso, my goal is to, hopefully, change that and allow people to see themselves and me and reach for their goals. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:11:22] That’s awesome. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:11:23] So awesome. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:12:04] So, what does the next year look like for you as you prepare? 

Simone Manuel: [00:12:08] Yeah. So, the next year just consists of a lot of training. I have a couple of competitions along the way, but in July, I’ll be heading to world championships in Gwangju, South Korea. I hope that’s how you pronounce it. After that, I’ll kind of come back to the States and get right back into training to prepare for 2020. Within that time, I’ll have other competitions along the way, and then head to trials, and hopefully on my way to Tokyo. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:12:38] And where do you keep your gold medal? Like where? 

Simone Manuel: [00:13:18]I keep my gold medal at home. Originally, it was in socks because I was told by other Olympians that- 

Kelsey Soule: [00:13:48] Yeah, I’ve seen that. 

Simone Manuel: [00:13:49] … it’s the best way to travel because they don’t like clickand scratch together. But now they’re just at home in a closet. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:13:56] I need to know, when you go through security at the airport, have you ever been questioned for your medal? 

Simone Manuel: [00:14:02] I definitely have. Because when it goes through security, all they see is a black circle. That’s what one of the officers told me because it’s gold. So, they’re like, “We have to check it.” And then, I show it to them, and they’re like, “What? For what? Oh my gosh. I’ve never seen one.” So, it’s a pretty coolexperience. There’s no case. I don’t know. I feel like — well, I don’t like to put my things on display. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:14:27] Yeah, I get it. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:14:28] She’s staying humble. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:14:30] Yeah. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:14:30] I get it. I get it. 

Simone Manuel: [00:14:31] Yeah. I think it’s just a little part of my parents never did that. Like they never really put all ofour ribbons and medals everywhere. And I think it kind of allowed my brothers and I to remain driven and not be complacent. And I don’t think that that’ll change until, I guess, I get my own house, and I’m done with swimming, and it would be nice to really appreciate. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:14:56] Right, yeah, yeah, yeah. Because this time where you’re competing in such a finite time in your life. Like I know you didn’t take a lot of vacation. You’re not like displaying your medals, but there is going to be a time when this when this ends, right? And then, you can appreciate those things, like extended vacations and displaying your medals everywhere and talking about it till, you know. 

Simone Manuel: [00:15:12] Yeah. I think I would be really disappointed if I just got stuck on the accomplishments I had in Rio, and didn’t really focus on the next goal, and feeling like, “Oh, well. Simone was only Rio.” No, I want to — for myself, I want to like remaindriven and focus towards what’s next. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:15:31] How many hours a week do you spend in the water? 

Simone Manuel: [00:15:35] About 20. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:15:35] Okay. 

Simone Manuel: [00:15:37] I think. Usually, my practice, I have nine practices a week. I double Monday, Tuesday, and Friday. I swim once on- 

Kelsey Soule: [00:15:45] Oh my gosh. 

Simone Manuel: [00:15:46] … Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Off on Sundays. And my swims are usually around an hour and 45 minutes. But on double days, it’s an hour and 45 minutes, and then the second practice is an hour and 15 minutes. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:16:03] So, that’s three hours of swimming 

Kelsey Soule: [00:16:04] That is a lot of swimming. I mean 

Simone Manuel: [00:16:06] Not counting the lifts that I have. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:16:08] Oh, that’s right because you have tolike- 

Simone Manuel: [00:16:10] I lift Monday, Wednesday, Friday for an hour. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:16:13] Okay. That’s why you get the medal then, and I’m on a podcast. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:16:26] Amazing, yes. Simone, thank you for being with us today. 

Simone Manuel: [00:16:28] Thank you. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:16:29] Thank you so much. How can people find you if they want to connect with you or follow your story? 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:16:33] Yeah. 

Simone Manuel: [00:16:34] You can find me on social media – Instagram, Twitter. I am @Swimone. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:16:41] Oh, yes, you did. I love it. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:16:45] So creative. I love it. Thank you for being with us. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:16:49] Thanks so much. 

Simone Manuel: [00:16:51] Thank you. 

 <CAR ZOOM NO MUSIC> 

NARRATION 

 Tyler Litchenberger: [00:16:53] Man, I love Simone. And her mom was in the studio with us too, and she was so sweet. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:16:57] Yeah, they were so cute together 

Kelsey Soule: [00:17:06]So, we can’t get over Simone, and you should come and follow her on Instagram and Twitter.  

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:17:19] Yes. So, now, here’s our convo with Jordyn Barratt. She’s hoping to compete in a completely new Olympic sport – skateboarding. And she’s not just a regular skateboarder. She’s also like super cool. She’s one of the coolest people. Kelsey and I have ever met. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:17:34] She’s already won the gold medal in swag, for sure. 

 <CAR ZOOM> 

 INTERVIEW W/ JORDYN 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:17:38] By the way, I just feel like you have a general coolness about you. I’m just going to state that up front. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:17:43] It’s a California thing. Maybe. Something in the air over there. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:17:48] Born and raised in California? 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:17:50] No I was born here actually in Dallas. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:17:53] Oh. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:17:53] Stop. 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:17:53] Yeah. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:17:54] That’s cool. 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:17:54] Lived here for like six months or something. And then, I grew up in Hawaii. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:17:59] Really? 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:17:59] Yeah. And I lived there until I was about 14. And then, moved to California. And then, I’ve been there since. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:18:06] Oh man. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:18:06] Okay. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:18:07] There it is. That’s the combination? 

Kelsey Soule: [00:18:08] So, did you move to California for skateboarding? 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:18:10] Yeah. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:18:11] Okay. I kind of figure that that’s how that went. I’ll ask a question that I don’t know is particularly relevant but are surfboarding and skateboarding aligned? Like if you grew up in Hawaii, I assume that most people surf. And then, you learned to skateboard. They coincide, right? 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:18:29] Yeah, definitely. Totally. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:18:31] Was it your group of friends, you’re like, “Okay. Sometimes, we’re going to go surfing. Sometimes, we’ll go skateboarding.” 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:18:36] Pretty much, yeah. I mean, I grew up surfing in the water since I was like three. Learned how to swim before I could walk kind of thing. So, I was surfing forever. And then, I started skating when I was about 12. And they built a skate park, and a few of my friends from school were like, “Hey, let’s go check this thing out. And I went out, and I loved it right away. And, basically, since the day I went to the skate park, I was just there at all my free time. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:19:02] Okay. So, I did do a little bit of skateboarding research yesterday. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:19:07] Look at you. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:19:07] … because there were some words involved that — there’s lingo that I didn’t know. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:19:10] You got your ollies already? 

Kelsey Soule: [00:19:12] No. That was not where I was going. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:19:15] Sorry. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:19:16] Okay. So, what’s your preferred method? Like in a skate park or — wait, you’re going to laugh because my lingo is bad. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:19:23] No, I love this. I’m like so jazzed that you like researched, Kelsey. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:19:27] No, I did. Okay. Vert. 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:19:29] Okay, good job. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:19:31] Okay. Please explain. 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:19:33] So, vert is — I skate vert. I don’t compete in vert really. A little bit more for fun. But vert is like a 13-and-a-half-foot half pipe, and it goes up to vert, like vertical, and there’s like two or three feet of vert or something. And that was really what started skating back in the ’80s. It was like a vert scene. And then, vert kind of died in the ’90s when street skating became a thing. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:19:59] Okay. When you say street skating, just so everyone can get an idea of it, is it like all throughout an area, or is it like- 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:20:10] So, street skating is literally like skating in the streets, and like ollying downstairs, or going up a curb, like ledges, and stuff like that. That all started in the streets. And then now that it’s like becoming an Olympic sport, street is one of them. And so, now, it’s all in a skate park, but it’s just like a street. That’s like the street area, and this is the vert area, that’s the park area. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:20:34] Okay. So, what do you compete in? 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:20:36] I compete in skateboard park. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:20:38] So, there’s just all kinds of different things that you can do tricks off of? 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:20:41] Basically, yeah. Skateboard park’s kind of like an in-between of vert and street. And it’s like a bunch of different heights of transition and small, big, different like obstacles, like corners, hips, pockets. And so, yeah, that’s basically what a park is. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:20:57] Okay. How did you transition from hanging with the friends, going to the skate park, to, “Oh, I’m competing now”? How did that happen. 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:21:04] It wasn’t forced. It was very natural. And still to this day, I just skate because I love it, and it’s fun for me. I’m not a fan of people who take it so seriouswhere they’re like, “We need to train and do this kind of thing.” I’m not a fan of that because that’s not what skating should be in my eyes. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:21:20] Right, but you do train, yeah? 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:21:21] Yeah, I definitely trainand work hard at it, but it’s more of a fun thing. I mean, I don’t really remember like a turning point of it. I’m guessing more towards when I moved to California, I was like, “Okay, this is like taking a step,” because that’s where the mecca of skating is in Southern California. And so, it’s like taking a step towards becoming a pro at it. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:21:42] And so, you’re just, “Okay. I’m just going to skateboard here.” And then when did you’re like, I’m going to enter a competition.” 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:21:48] I mean I had been doing competitions in Hawaii. And I, basically, kind of ran out of contests there. I moved to California. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:21:54] Because you were winning them all or? 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:21:56] Yeah, basically. In Hawaii, it’s just such a small thing. It’s not likea sport there at all. It’s very small. And California, it’s huge. So, when I moved to California, I started doing like bigger competitions and stuff like that. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:22:16] Okay. So, obviously, no one really knows what to expect from this sport at the Olympics because it hasn’t happened before, right. So, are you still going into it with that mentality where it’s just like, “It’s just something I love to do. And if I can get an Olympic medal out of it, while I’m enjoying myself, and doing what I love,” or is it like a completely different mindset now that it’s the Olympics? 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:22:38] No, it’s still the same mindset. I just grew up loving skating for what it is and love the history of it. I love all the original people who started it and the culture of it. And that’s who I am, and I want to keep it like that. I don’t want to just change myself because of some competition. At the end of the day, that’s what it is even though it’s the Olympics, it still is a contest. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:23:06] When it comes to the Olympics and what they build for you to compete in, do you have any insight? Is it a complete surprise when you go to a competition, or are you able to have like an idea of what it’s going to look like, so you can kind of plan what you’re going to do, like a map? 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:23:21] Yeah. I mean, I have a general idea always. It’s always similar. It’s always the same people who build all the contests. And so, that helps. It makes it very similar. But most the time, a couple of weeks before, you’ll get the blueprints of it. And so, you know what it does look like. But I honestly hate looking at that because I’ll look at it, and I’ll be like, “Cool. This should work, and I should try this trick here,” blah, blah. And then, I get there, and look at it in person, and it’s totally different than what I thought in my head. So, I’m like I don’t even look at those anymore. I kind of just show up, and then decide what I want to do. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:23:54] That’s how I train for podcasting, really. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:23:56] We can tell sometimes, Tyler has toget cut. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:24:00] Just show up. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:24:01] And edit that out. So, what’s Japan going to be like? How do you feel like it’s going to be so much — is it going to be a lot different than what you’re used to, or do you feel like it will be like another day? 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:24:11] I think the trickiest part with Japan is going to be the time of year and how hot it’s going to be because I was there last summer right around the same time of when it is, and it is so hot. And so, literally walking on the street, you get out of breath. So, I think, that’s going to be tricky for me. But I did grow up in Hawaii, and I do live in California now. I do skate a lot of warm places. That will be to my benefit, but that’s definitely goingto be the trickiest part. And then, just figuring out the park, of course, like every contest. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:24:45] Yeah. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:24:46] What other countries are good at skateboarding? 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:24:49] Japan’s really good. Japan’s coming in hot. America’s definitely numberone. And then, Brazil, Australia. A lot of Europe countries are starting to get really good. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:25:00] So, the same countries that are good in surfing- 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:25:02] Pretty much. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:25:02] … are probably good in skateboarding. 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:25:04] Pretty much, yeah 

Kelsey Soule: [00:25:38] So, like, obviously, you’re really young, and it’s the first time that skateboarding is going to be in the Olympics. So, does this help you, or does this make you like look forward to your career in the future? Are youkind of just taking it day by day to see how it goes? 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:25:56] I’m definitely excitedfor the future. And with the Olympics, a lot of really coolopportunities get handed our way, like being here at Toyota, that’s never been a thought to have. Some of the sponsors that I have now or things like that. So, that’s super amazing with the Olympics. And I am super stoked to be like a part of the US Team and, hopefully, get to the Olympics. But I still want to just be myself at the end of the day. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:26:57] What are the judges looking for when it comes to skateboarding, like judging and deciding who’s the medalists? 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:27:04] There’s a few different criterias, but a big one is speed power and flow. Another one is trick, like hardness, like how hard a trick is. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:27:13] Yeah, difficulty, yeah. 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:27:14] Difficulty, yeah. Another one is keeping your speed, keeping your line, and having good style. You could be a robot skating and do the best tricks, but they won’t care at the end of the day. If you look good doing pretty good tricks, they’ll care more. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:27:32] There’s like a swag level involved. 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:27:34] Yeah. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:27:34] Got it, okay. I get it, I get it. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:27:36] I like it. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:27:51] What’s your triple axel? 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:27:53] Yeah. 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:27:54] There’s not really like that with skating. It’s definitely very different with snowboarding because snowboarding, you do flip and spin a lot more. There’s basically like three categories of tricks. There’s like airs, grinds, and then lip tricks. So, whoever goes the highest, goes grinds the farthest, does the most difficulty of tricks, that’s like what I aspire to do. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:28:18] Got you. 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:28:18] So- 

Kelsey Soule: [00:28:19] And that’s how they’ll judge- 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:28:20] Yeah. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:28:20] … the event. 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:28:22] Mm-hmm (affirmative). 

Kelsey Soule: [00:28:22] Very cool. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:28:23] That’s awesome. What advice do you have for other girls who are coming up in the game and like how to make this an Olympic career? 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:28:32] Yeah. I have a few different advice. I mean, no matter what you do in your life, if you love it, then I think you should do it. So, with me, that love of skating, I luckily found that at a pretty young age and knew that was what I wanted to do. But as far as that goes, a quote that I’ve always loved that my mom always told me was, “Fall down seven times, get up eight.” So, I’ve always kind of taken that with me throughout my life in pretty much anything I’ve done. And it’s very real in skating as you literally are falling down. 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:29:05] And so, yeah. with that, that’s cool. But I mean, just go to the skate park, and make friends, and have fun.  

Jordyn Barratt: [00:29:28] It’s definitely superintimidating, but you start making friends and realize like all these people are super cool. And that’s what I love about skating. It’s like it’s a very humbling sport because you could be at the skate park with a 7-year-old little girl who’s like the first time at the skate park. And then, over there can be this 50-year-old tattooed dude who’s drinking beer and all scary-looking. But then, he’ll literally be like, “Oh, come over here. Let me show you how to do this. Let me help you out.” We’re all there for the same reason. We all love it. And that’s what’s super cool about skating is that everyone gets along most of the time. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:30:03] So, from now until next year, what is your schedule like? How do you prepare? 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:30:10] My schedule is going to be crazy. Preparing, I mean I’m just trying to skate every day that I can. And then, I go to my cross trainer twice a week and mainly for like injury prevention. And then, I do other things on the side like I surf pretty much every day and snowboard as much as I can. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:30:31] How much do you skate a day? 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:30:33] Oh, it’s different every day. It’s like skating is not — I don’t have like a training program, It’slike I’ll hit some friends up and we’re like, “Hey, let’s go hit these three skate parks.” They’re like- 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:30:44] Wait. Do you have a coach? 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:30:46] No. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:30:46] This is awesome. 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:30:48] Yeah. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:30:49] It’s so funny because we were talking to Simone, who’s a swimmer. And I mean, her schedule is set, right. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:30:54] Rigid, yeah. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:31:01] And it’s like I love that the essence of your sport is the maximum amount of chillness possible. 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:31:07] Seriously. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:31:07] And then, for the next year, you’re going to the Olympics. 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:31:11] Yeah. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:31:11] And it’s just like- 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:31:13] Chill, yeah. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:31:14] The whole time. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:31:14] Yeah, the whole way. 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:31:15] I mean, I did get here that way- 

Kelsey Soule: [00:31:49] Yeah, exactly. 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:31:50] Like my way so far. And I’m definitely likevery happy where I’m at and enjoying myself. And so, I want to stay in that- 

Kelsey Soule: [00:31:58] That’s what sports should be about honestly. 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:32:00] Exactly. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:32:00] You’re going to the Olympics. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:32:01] Yeah. 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:32:01] I started it this way. I want to end it this way. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:32:04] Yeah. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:33:05] What was your first car? 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:33:06] My first car? 

Kelsey Soule: [00:33:07] Yeah. 

Jordyn Barratt: [00:33:07] A Toyota Tacoma. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:33:09] Hey. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:33:09] Hey, what’s up. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:33:10] Awesome. Thanks for joining us, Jordyn. 

OUTRO 

Kelsey Soule: [00:33:15] So, it’s like we’re obsessed with cars or something. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:33:17] We are. That’s why we work at Toyota. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:33:19] Of course. So, thanks to Simone and Jordyn for joining us. Good luck to both of you. We’re so excited to see you kill it out there, and we can’t wait to see you in Tokyo. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:33:28] On television because no one’s letting us go to Tokyo. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:33:31] I know. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:33:32] We’re not there. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:33:33] Not again. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:33:33] Not bitter. 

Kelsey Soule: [00:33:34] Yeah, team bitter. So, I hope that you enjoyed our first episode of season two. We’ll be back in two weeks with sprinter Michael Norman and surfer LakeyPeterson. This is Kelsey. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:33:44] And Tyler. If you like our show, please hit that subscribe button, and you can follow today’s guests on the Gram, @swimone, S-W-I-M-O-N-E and @jordynbarratt. That’s J-O-R-D-Y-N-B-A-R-R-A-T-T. 

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:33:59] Shout out to our in-house producers Sharon Hong and Allison Powell. Music by Wes [Meixner], edited and mixed by Crate Media. Find us on Facebook and Twitter, @Toyota and @Lexus, and on Instagram, @ToyotaUSAand @LexusUSA. That’s the end of our show. See you in two weeks. 

Listen Now

Email Sign Up

Enter your email address below to sign up for email alerts.

*Indicates Required