October 29, 2008 – Woot hoot! After ongoing discussions with various women’s sports organizations, ESPN finally announced that the X Games will include equal prize money for men and women. We’ve come a long way, baby!
Press release from ESPN:
“ESPN is proud to announce that the X Games and Winter X Games will feature equal prize money for both men and women in 2009. ESPN has been a leader in promoting and programming women’s athletics, and this recent action sports prize purse increase is the latest example. This past summer saw the X Games feature women’s motocross for the first time, and the upcoming Winter X Games will feature a host of female Olympic medalists from several different countries. Starting with Winter X Games 13 in January, 2009, men and women athletes at all X Games events will compete for equal cash awards. –John Skipper, ESPN executive vice president”
Much of the credit for the equal prize money goes to the Action Sports Alliance, a nonprofit organization that provides a voice for women skateboarders that lobbied ESPN executives as early as 2006 before X Games 12. In the current corporate and economic environment, it’s great when companies do the right thing.
The next Winter X Games, set to remain in Aspen through 2010, will take place Jan. 22-25th.