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‘Surprised and excited': Santa Cruz woman, 64, to head to Rome for World Skate Games

A Santa Cruz woman has been skateboarding for more than 50 years. Now, at the age of 64, Judi Oyama is headed to the World Skate Games in Rome.

Oyama competes against teenagers, often leaving them in the dust.

“I had no idea I would be racing and going fast at 64,” she said.

Oyama just qualified for the World Skate Games in Rome next year, where she will be a member of the U.S. Slalom team.

“I was super, I guess surprised and excited,” she said.

For Oyama, age is just a number and right now, she is focused on the number two because she is ranked second in the world in women’s slalom.

Oyama started skateboarding in her driveway when she was 13. And she admits in the 70’s, she hit some bumps in the road. She was sometimes the only woman competing and was even shut out of competitions completely.

“And I asked one of the people that was putting on the race, you know, ‘How come I wasn’t I invited?” and They said, ‘when a chick goes down the hill, it doesn’t look as gnarly,’” she said.

But the mother of two never stopped and after five decades years of skateboarding, she has shredded the glass ceiling and paved the way for other female athletes by fighting for more women’s divisions.

Oyama also leads by example. In addition to training on her board in Santa Cruz, she also does CrossFit five times a week.

“Seeing everybody else kind of start to fall off, she’s been one of the only people that actually started to increase and get better and better over time,” said Campbell resident Josh Harvey.

Oyama hopes slalom will eventually be included in the Olympics. But for now, she’s training like an Olympian just in case.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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