10-Year-Old Skateboarder Mazel Paris Chases Her Dreams With a Smile

Skatepark Princess Mazel Paris Chases Her Dreams With a Smile

GUCCI jacket and skirt. Photographed by Mark Nicdao for the July 2024 Issue of Vogue Philippines.

As a five-year-old, Mazel Paris watched as her older brother practiced skateboarding and asked if she could try, too. Five years later, she was the Philippines’ youngest representative at the 2023 Asian Games.

Mazel Paris Alegado is not afraid to chase her goals.

At age 5, she saw her brother skateboarding and wanted to see for herself if she could do it too.  Three simple words kindled the start of her sporting dreams: “Can I try?”

Now at ten years old, she has traveled all over the world to train and represent the Philippines in international skateboarding events. While she’s based in California, she’s proudly the youngest Philippine representative at the 2023 Asian games, too.

Her mother Pauline knows how great it is for a girl as young as Mazel to get this far. And still they both know her journey is far from over. So, it’s important that they learn how to pace themselves and focus on the fun. “I always remind her that, you know, just have fun. Don’t be too serious. It’s a long road,” she says.

Fortunately, the sport has become a playground for so many young talents to thrive. At skate parks she’s trained in all over the world, Mazel has found friends the same age as her who share this same love for the sport. The gold medalist at the 19th Asian Games, where Mazel placed 7th in the rankings, was 15 years old herself: Hinano Kusaki from Japan. 

“The community is amazing. They really like to push each other and help each other,” Pauline says. “Even at competitions, you know, with skateboarding they really like supporting you and cheering you on.” On the concrete floor, the kids practice and play, and learn not to take each fall too seriously.

Mazel bravely dives into bowls twice her height in these skateparks. It’s easy for fear to creep in when looking straight down from such tall places, but she has sound advice for those afraid to jump in. “Start from the bottom [of the incline] and then pump up,” she says with a smile. “And once you get comfortable, that’s when you try the drop.”

To get a flashy trick right, it takes repetition. “Sometimes in my head when I get frustrated, I just move on to another trick and then come back to it,” Mazel says. Skateboarding is as much discipline as it is flair, and the carefree attitude of skateboarders like her belie the tough mentality it takes to compete at their level.

Mazel now aims higher than the verts she jumps from and sees herself skateboarding for a long time. As early as now, she says she wants to make it to the Olympics and the X Games someday. 

In an extreme sport where falling down and picking yourself back up is part of the routine, Mazel has learned the tricks to face her fears. Seeing her skate like a kid, all thrill and pure joy, can make anyone think: How far can you get if you weren’t scared to try something new?

This month, Vogue Philippines pays tribute to stories of grit, determination, and the pursuit of excellence. Below, meet more of the athletes who continue to shatter the glass ceiling of sports.


Vogue Philippines: July 2024 Issue

By BIANCA CUSTODIO, NANA CARAGAY, PATRICIA VILLORIA Photographs by MARK NICDAO Beauty Editor JOYCE OREÑA Fashion Director PAM QUIÑONES. Stylists: David Milan, Steven Coralde of Qurator Studio. Makeup: Angeline dela Cruz, Bea Mocorro, Janica Cleto, and Japeth Purog of Estée Lauder Philippines, Nadynne Esguerra. Hair: JA Feliciano and Kyle Velasco, Jessica Riva and Noel Muncada of Toni&Guy Philippines, Mong Amado. Art Director: Jann Pascua. Producer: Anz Hizon. Bookings Associate: Bianca Zaragoza. Beauty Writer: Bianca Custodio. Nails: Extraordinail. Photographer’s Assistants: Arsan Sulser Hofileña, Crisaldo Soco, John Phillip Nicdao, Villie James Bautista. Stylist’s Assistants: Geno Karlo, Kyla Uy, Ticia Almazan. Shot on location at Balay Kobo and Vogue Studios.
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