Via ESPN.com, you can read the whole article at:
“ESPN has eliminated women’s vert skateboarding from the program at the X Games beginning July 28 in Los Angeles.
“We look for sports that have a solid year-round infrastructure, a growing participant base, an established annual competition schedule, rising youth talent pools, ample access to courses, low barriers of entry into the sport and myriad other factors,” a statement from ESPN X Games read. “After thoughtful discussions and evaluation of many of those factors, we have decided to discontinue the women’s skateboard vert competition from X Games 17.”‘
My friend and pro-skater Amelia Brodka reacted to the news in her blog (http://ameliabrodka.com/2011/05/24/no-room-for-women-in-skateboarding/), “No Pool Party, No Dew Tour, No X Games, No Maloof, No coverage by the skateboard media. Women’s vert and transition skateboarding seems to have been dismissed by the skateboarding industry.”
In another post (http://ameliabrodka.com/2011/05/30/in-response-to-espns-article-x-games-cancels-womens-skate-vert/), Amelia breaks down the fallacies in ESPN’s reasoning for canceling the event and explores the impact this decision will likely have on the future of the sport, “ESPN’s move has a lot of potential to significantly inhibit further growth of the participant base. I started skating after I saw the women’s vert demo at the 2002 X-Games in Philadelphia. Lyn-z said it best: ” This, unfortunately, is going to end the growth for women’s vert skating as we know it.”’
Both articles are worth a full read; they also have some great pictures and videos of female skaters doing their thing. Though I don’t like to admit it, Amelia’s right when she says today’s skate industry leaves little room for the support and development of women’s competitive skating. I know their are similar frustrations in the women’s snowboarding community and I believe this is a serious issue across all extreme sports. Amelia’s solution? “It’s time to look outside of the current skateboarding industry and start composing our own events.” Call it the Billie Jean King approach. I think the pooled efforts and resources of the women who love these sports has the power to improve the infrastructure of the competition world, giving female athletes better recognition for their hard work and talent while inspiring a new generation of girls who will surely elevate the levels of competition.
You can sign the petition protesting the exclusion of women’s vert from the X Games here. Thanks for your help spreading the word.