Some people are finally coming to the realization that women are rarely given the same sporting opportunities as men. Amazing female athletes have especially been speaking up about this point in fields including tennis in recent years, but some sports are still very much in the realm of the male-oriented and that needs to change. Motocross is one such example, with males far outweighing females.
Insulting initial female-oriented efforts like the terribly named women’s “Powder Puff National,” back in 1974, painted an especially bleak picture. Thankfully, the Women’s Motocross World Championship series, and some significant ripples made by the best women in the sport’s history and present, are starting to make some small changes.
We especially have the best female names in the sport to thank for the most notable improvements seen in recent years. Each of these iconic figures has donned their dirt bike helmets and made some pretty significant impact. So, who are they, and why should the world at large sit up and take notice?
1. Sara Price
The 10x National motocross champion and X Games medalist Sara Price displays general tenacity about everything from her events to the gender inequality she has witnessed within them. Having ridden since the age of 8, Price has certainly been at the helm of some positive changes and became the first female driver to race with a factory in 2010.
In recent interviews, Price especially praised the use of male and female drivers for the first time in this year’s Extreme E series. She stated that it will give “…many females an opportunity to actually put their talent out there.”
2. Vicki Golden
Vicki Golden became the first woman to nab a place at the freestyle motocross event of the X Games. Then she went on to win bronze at just 21-years-of-age. Yes, she made some pretty impressive history.
In 2014, she also became the first female rider to earn a pro license after competing in the men’s Arenacross Series. Golden is also not afraid to point out that her achievements have been made on the typically lower-power bikes designed for female riders, with just 250cc compared with the 450cc that her male counterparts have always ridden on.
3. Sue Fish
It’s impossible to speak about female athletes changing the game without also mentioning Sue Fish. She has held her place at the helm of female motocross since early wins in the 1976 and 1977 Women’s National Motocross Championship.
In fact, Sue ‘Flying’ Fish is such a dirt biking legend that she was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2012. She also earned the title of FIM legend in 2014.
A few last words on women in motocross
To say that motocross is a gender-equal playing field would be to drastically undermine problems still rife across the sport, unfortunately. That said, with fantastic women like these three at the helm, it won’t be possible for people to overlook these problems for much longer.