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Lawyer trademarks skateboarding phenom's nickname without her knowledge

·2 min read
Rayssa Leal went home to Brazil with a silver medal in tow. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Rayssa Leal went home to Brazil with a silver medal in tow. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

While 13-year-old skateboarder Rayssa Leal was busy becoming a teenage sensation after winning a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics, a lawyer back home in Brazil was looking out for her future.

Leal stepped off the plane to find out lawyer Flavia Penido, whom she’d never met before, had trademarked her nickname “Fadinha,” which is Portuguese for “Little Fairy,” to preserve her rights and stop anyone from taking advantage of the phenom.

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Knowing that disputes over trademarks can be long and costly, Penido acted quickly after realizing the “Fadinha” brand hadn’t been registered for skateboards and related products. She insisted the motivation was not financial in a Twitter post, and went as far as signing a declaration which states she would give away all rights to Leal or her parents free of charge.

The "Little Fairy" nickname’s inception comes from a viral video posted by Tony Hawk in 2015, where a seven-year-old Leal pulled off a “fairytale heelflip” down three steps while sporting a fairy costume. Her grandmother had sewn the Tinker Bell outfit for a Peter Pan-themed school play.

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That video came full circle this week when a photo of Hawk and Leal scoping out the Tokyo Olympics Skatepark surfaced before the “Fadinha” went on to claim silver in the first women’s Olympic skateboarding event and become Brazil’s youngest-ever Olympic medallist.

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Leal scored a 14.64 total in the street competition, falling short of fellow 13-year-old Momiji Nishiya’s 15.26, who the Brazilian embraced with a wholesome smile at the end of the event.

Skateboarding is one of four sports making its Olympic debut this summer, and there’s more of it to come as the women’s park competition takes place on Aug. 4, followed by the men’s event on Aug. 5.

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