Behind the Body Issue -- Leticia Bufoni
Bufoni's first Body Issue
Every year, ESPN The Magazine comes out with its annual Body Issue, highlighting top athletes across sports and the bodies that help them perform at the highest level. This year's Body Issue, which hits newsstands July 10, includes action sports superstar Leticia Bufoni.
"I never lift weights," says Bufoni in her ESPN The Magazine interview. "I don't want to get big. If you want to skate well and be fast you can't be big, you know? I use more of my body weight [when I train]."
Raised at X Games
Bufoni has been competing in Women's Skateboard Street at X Games since 2007. She was just 14 years old when she made her X Games debut and she has been working her way up the podium ever since. Now 22, she owns seven X Games medals.
Originally from Sao Paulo, Leticia Bufoni moved to L.A. as a teenager to focus on her skateboard career. She now spends most of her time in Southern California, traveling back and forth to Brazil throughout the year.
"There are a lot of skateparks [in California]," Bufoni has said to explain her move to the U.S. "In Brazil we don't have a lot of skateparks."
Breakout in Foz
It wasn't until 2013 that Bufoni really had her breakout year. That year, X Games traveled to Foz do Iguacu, Brazil, and in front of a home-country crowd, Bufoni won her first X Games gold in Women's Skateboard Street.
She followed up her win in Brazil with a gold at X Games Los Angeles that same year, plus a victory in the debut of Real Women, a video contest at X Games Barcelona 2013, where she debuted an impressive video part that won the judges' vote.
Bufoni had scored six straight podiums in a row leading into X Games Austin 2015, which took place in June. In Austin, Bufoni took fourth place in Women's Skateboard Street, narrowly missing the podium and ending her podium streak.
Reason to be happy
A top-ranked athlete on the World Cup Skateboarding circuit for years and a nominee in 2013 for Female Action Sports Athlete of the Year at the ESPY Awards, Bufoni is well-known around the world as one of the top female skateboarders.
Body of work
Bufoni works out with a personal trainer several times a week and spends hours skateboarding in the park every day.
Bufoni also has a good business sense: She founded her own skateboard company called Yeah Yeah in 2013, and in May 2014, she became one of few female skateboarders to sign with Nike.
Field of dreams
In addition to dominating women's contests, Bufoni also has held her own against the men in contests such as Simple Session in Tallinn, Estonia, where she took 27th place in the semifinals in 2014.
Thanks to her athletic accomplishments and her international stardom, Bufoni has developed a huge following online. She has over 43,000 followers on Twitter, more than 740,000 fans on Facebook, and 390,000-plus on Instagram.
Her own beat
Recognized for her individual style both on and off her skateboard, Bufoni has written online, "Be different, have your own wills and thoughts."
For the fans
Posing at X Games Austin with young female fans, Bufoni is a symbol of the success one can achieve with hard work, discipline and a positive attitude.