This past Friday morning, competitive Vancouver Longboarder, Glenna Evans tragically died while riding. It was one day prior to her 28th birthday. The tight-knit local longboarding community is still reeling from this loss.
I found this news as I flipped open the paper while sitting on a coastal bound ferry. I'd just left my 16 year old son along for the night and day while his father, siblings and I visited friends up the coast. My stomach twisted into knots, and tears filled my eyes. At the moment, no mention of who the young female rider was. I imagined the other tormented mothers and riders waiting to hear the news of who it was. Wolf knows them all and I'd just left him all alone. I felt sick.
She was in full race gear, she was a seasoned rider--this news added no detail to suggest who it might be. By then, Wolf had gone out riding for the day with other longboarders; he'd not yet heard the news and there was no way for me to get in touch with him until he was back home.
By late in the day her name was released, and I'd been able to contact Wolf. He'd spent the day skating with many others. They'll remember her, but continue to ride, following their passion.
She was an emerging artist and a well liked woman. Her friends have formed memorial facebook pages, expressed their feelings on the local coast longboarding message board. Many are frustrated and hurt by the 'slamming' that longboarding has been dealt by the media. Having heard this, I deliberately have not read any reader responses. They are a tenacious group, and will get beyond hurtful comments, but it will take time to recover from a loss of one of their own.
All of this has happened the week prior to Wolf's and my trip to France where he will race in the Alps at 'the Graveyard Call". We have been looking forward to this event for months now and are finally set to go. My feelings about the sport have not changed. It still scares the hell out of me, but not so much as the racing as does the training. Racing happens on closed roads with hay bales lining the blacktop, and paramedics waiting on standby (like they do at all international/ regional events). Training does not. These athletes are driven to ride, to compete, and they know the risks. But in honesty, no one has ever died in this local community while training or racing. The reality is harsh and painful for all involved. My heart goes out to all the riders, and to Glenna's family and friends. Rest in Peace. I pray that this is the only loss that this community must endure.
Glenna ranked 5th overall in women's downhill skateboarding. Here is the link to IGSA (international gravity sports association) memorial page. http://www.igsaworldcup.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=451&Itemid=465