The Alliance Pushes for Equality at X Games

Originally published here.

For the first time ever, both winter and summer sports will coalesce in X Games Oslo this week. In collaboration with the Women’s Skateboarding Alliance (WSA), Oslo will see a women’s street skateboard competition.

We are excited to build on our long time relationship with ESPN by producing Women’s Skateboarding Street at the first ever X Games Oslo in conjunction with our event partner CA productions. With more girls skateboarding globally than ever before, the timing couldn’t be better for a new European X Games stop,” said Mimi Knoop, president and founder of WSA, according to Transworld Skateboarding.

The invite-only comp will go down on Thursday at the Skur 13 warehouse in downtown Oslo. Athletes who made the cut include Alana Smith, Alexis Ablone, Vanessa Torres, Pamela Rosa, Leticia Bufoni and Lacey Baker. The finals will be webcast at 1 p.m. EST on ESPN3.

The skate park in which all competitions will be held was constructed by California RampWorks, a company that has long partnered with the X Games and, among others, the Dew Tour and the Mega Ramp. The park is a permanent structure, and it will remain open to the public after the weekend’s events are over.

Action sports events, such as the big wave surf competition Titans of Mavericks, have been criticized lately for their (mostly) all-male cast. While they will be competing in the same park, many female skaters still see the world of professional skateboarding as a boys’ club.

“The skate industry is a bunch of dudes making decisions and judgments,” said Lacey Baker to Broadly. “If I don’t have long hair, wear tight pants and a push up bra then they decide I look too much like a boy. They don’t care how well I skate or my skill level.”