Skateboarding’s Olympic moment : the gendered contours of sportification / Dax D’Orazio

D’Orazio, Dax

Skateboarding will be included in the 2020 Olympics, representing a new crescendo of the activity’s “sportification.” Although some celebrate increased exposure and legitimacy, others bemoan the incursion of outsiders. Nonetheless, it is widely believed that women in particular have much to gain from the Olympic inclusion. This article begins by summarizing the literature on women’s marginalization and exclusion and then diagnoses a gendered paradox (and two associated double binds) related to sportification. Based on confidential interviews with some of the top-level female skateboarders in the world, it suggests that women are less ambivalent about elite competition due to their subcultural experiences.

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