Monday, August 21, 2006

8/6/06 Women and the X Games

Don't know if you've heard, but the X games in LA have been going on. Maybe you've been watching it on TV. I watched about 15 minutes of the guys competing today.

Women are doing pretty well as far as the Winter X games go, but the skateboarding part of the Summer X games there isn't much hype as far as women are concenred. And Women are rockin! So what's the deal I ask? The winning purse for women in skateboarding is low and they never get any airtime. However, things are changing.

Cara-Beth Burnside poses with her gold medal after winning the Skateboard Vert Women's final at X Games 12 in Los Angeles on Thursday, Aug. 3, 2006. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

A few of the women skateboarders met with the ESPN executive vice president for content, on the eve of this year's X Games and made quite impression. They came away from the meeting feeling pretty good.

Instead of a purse totaling $8,000 for women's Street and Vert, they got a deal that pays $15,000 for first, $10,000 for second and $5,000 for third at this year's event. They also laid the groundwork for the women to get some TV time for the first time at next year's X Games. YEAH!!

The truth is...there aren't a lot of women skateboarders. According to the National Sporting Goods Association, of the 10.3 million skateboarders in the United States, only 2.6 million (25 percent) are women. This might not seem like a lot, but it's more than three years ago when women made up only 15 percent of the total number of skaters.

Thanks to women skaters like Cara-Beth Burnside who says, "We believe in it (women's skateboarding) and we just want to make changes for the future so we can make sure there is a future."Mimi Knoop, this year's Vert silver medalist and Karen Jones who took bronze, are making their voices heard.

Thirty three year old (yes I said 33, and she just won the gold medal for the Skateboard Vert Women's final) Cara-Beth is considered a pioneer of women's skateboarding as well as snowboarding. Maybe you've seen her competing and winning at the Winter Olympic games where she was snowboarding. So if it's Summer...she's skating. Winter....she's boarding!

Cara-Beth Burnside competes in the Skateboard Vert Women's final at X Games 12 in Los Angeles on Thursday, Aug. 3, 2006. Burnside took the gold. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)


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