I lost to a man at a women’s skateboarding contest. Now I’m fighting to protect women’s sports

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I went through the motions in a daze: Thank the judges. Hold the trophy. Smile for photos. Collect the prize money. Act like everything is fine when it clearly is not.

I was standing on the second-place podium, but if this had been a fair competition—if I had been competing only against other women—I would have been standing on the highest platform and receiving the first-place check that went with it.

As it was, a man in makeup took home the first-place trophy and prize money that day in 2021 at the women’s Red Bull Cornerstone skateboarding contest finals in Lincoln, Nebraska. Between the qualifiers and the finals, he received $5,000 in prize money that was meant for women.

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It felt so wrong because it was so wrong. I had been in two women’s contests prior to this where men competed, and I had even been bumped from first place to second by a man once before. This time wasn’t just about coming in second behind a man who took first in the women’s division, nor was it only about not

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