Maggie Behle

In the mid-1990s female skateboarders were practically never included within the main contents of Thrasher magazine, but sometimes they could sneak into the pages through the “Photograffiti” section where readers submit photos, the “Cold Snap” section which was snowboarding not skateboarding (for some reason that arena was acceptable, but only tiny photos of the women at the bottom of the page), and then occasionally the “Somethin’ Else” photo. This page was always at the very end of the magazine, and in the November 1995 issue, Maggie Behle was featured.

The caption reads: “NO PROBLEM: The next time you think you have troubles, remember the story of Maggie Behle. After only skating for one month, this fourteen-year-old wondergirl with no right leg lands kickflips by ollieing off her back crutch and kicking down with her front foot at Government Camp, OR, near Mount Hood.”

Maggie Behle was born in Utah in 1980 without a right leg. She started skiing at age 3 and at age 14 became the youngest member of the U.S. Ski Team. In 1996, Maggie was celebrated in a Frosted Flakes Kellogg’s commercial as being part of “Team Tiger.”

Maggie then became a Paralympic ski champion and in the 1998 Nagano Paralympic Winter Games Maggie took the bronze medal in Women’s Slalom LW2 and Women’s Downhill LW2, and just missed the podium in Women’s Giant Slalom LW2 and Women’s Super-G LW2.

Maggie was obviously a great athlete and a determined individual. It was awesome to see her photo included and while her situation was regarded as a novelty, I would like to think that today with skateboarding initiatives like The Good Push, rallying for accessible skateparks, that skateboarding is evolving into something more inclusive and celebrates diversity.

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