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Front Page » June 18, 2002 » Sports » Local athletes prove that skateboarding is a sport
Published 4,321 days ago

Local athletes prove that skateboarding is a sport


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By GARRETT ATWOOD
Contributing writer


Kamron Atwood and Chance Misner are much more than skaters. The two are experienced athletes who have taken their fair share of spills and suffered many painful experiences for the sake of competing. In fact, the two athletes recently competed in the Utah Summer Games in Cedar City. Atwood walked away with the gold medal in the open division. Although Misner did not place in the event, he had a successful showing at the annual summer games event.

Walking the halls of virtually every high school or junior high in America, there is a misunderstood breed of teenager known as the skater. Branded outcast by their peers and shunned by the adults of their community, these young men and women seek acceptance among fellow skaters and avoid the social spotlight. As a result of their reclusive nature, skaters often go unnoticed as talented individuals with potential for greatness.

While the average teenager is primping after school for the evenings social activity, the skater can be found in a supermarket parking lot or perhaps on the steps of the community library. These young people are not grocery shopping nor are they searching for a good book. They are defying the laws of gravity and putting their bodies on the line for the satisfaction of mastering a new trick.

While their fellow classmates are in the comfort of their home studying or perhaps watching afternoon sitcoms, the skater is picking himself up from the pavement, sweat dripping from his nose and chin, and a small trickle of blood running from his elbow. A sigh of frustration leaves his lips as he grabs his board and trudges back up a set of stairs for another attempt at a difficult trick.

Although the heroic efforts of a skater receive little praise from their community, the skater receives a great deal of pleasure and pride in his daily labors.

The road rash from an aerial maneuver gone wrong is worn proudly the next day to school where fellow skaters praise the afflicted for his war wound.

The skater does not seek the praise of those not of his breed. He is happy to be unnoticed.

A good day in the life of a skateboarder consists of landing a few good tricks without breaking any bones or equipment and then making it home without being harassed or arrested by the local law enforcement.

My younger brother, Kamron Atwood is a skater who is as hard-core as they come. Through him, it has been easy to see through the unaccepted image of skateboarding.

Beneath the baggy pants, chains, freaky hairdo's, and other stereotypes that seem to accompany the skater, there lies a talented athlete who should be respected.

The skater skates not for money or worldly praise. He skates for the love of his game.

Perhaps instead of ostracizing the skater, society should learn a lesson from a group of individuals who have learned how to focus and motivate themselves without the promise of reward.

Although most skaters seldom ever receive recognition for their incredible athletic abilities, the rare chance to compete did occur for Atwood and Chance Misner.

The two local skaters recently competed in the Utah Summer Games in Cedar City. Both skaters competed in the open division with Misner performing quite well and Atwood taking home the gold medal.

Despite the stereotypes that skaters are not athletes, these two proved all the critics wrong with their strong performance at the summer games. The desire to skate comes from within. The criticism leaves these dedicated athletes unharmed, for they participate in their ultimate escape, skating.


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