|Cynthia Zawilski spends most Friday afternoons practicing at the skateboarding ramp behind her school, the Girls' Middle School, working to change the image of the male dominated sport.
Last Friday, the eighth grader brought home her third gold medal from the annual Girls' Middle School skateboarding competition, and scored second in her first co-ed competition, also hosted at GMS. The school invited boys from other Bay Area schools to participate in its first annual mixed competition on Friday.
"It is a unique sport and rare for girls," Zawilski said. "I wanted to change the way it is seen."
GMS athletic director Matt Cole started the school's skateboarding and surf programs four years ago, and holds annual skateboarding competitions for his students to show off their skills in brackets for beginner, intermediate and advanced athletes. He says it is rare for a school to have a skateboarding program for girls, and that a quarter of the school's students take advantage of the program during physical education classes.
No girls from other schools responded to the open division invitation, but male students from Hillsborough and Half Moon Bay came to Mountain View for the competition.
"My girls killed it in the open division," Cole said.
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