Maria Elaigne Ferreira

Maria Elaigne Carmen Rita Rodrigues Ferreira was born in 1960 and is among the earliest female skateboarders in Brazil – a country with a rich history of amazing skateboarders! Thanks to Skate Mania Brasil, it was shared that Maria grew up in Curitiba, Paraná, where she started skateboarding around 1972 at the age of 12. Her first introduction to skateboarding was thanks to a Canadian boy who moved into the building where she lived and happened to have a skateboard.

Maria soon switched from roller-skating to skateboarding every day! A local park called Parque São Lourenço was her favourite spot since it was a destination for skaters to practise and imitate surfing moves. It was also the site for a race in 1976, the Torneio Cidade de Curitiba organized by Ruy Rebka Prado.

Bombing down streets and local hills gave the skateboarders a disagreeable reputation for some, but the youth loved it. A documentary called Curitown (2019) shares more of the skateboarding story in this region during the 1970s including commentary from Maria.

In 1976, Maria went on a trip to São Paulo to compete in a skateboard race on Avenida Paulista. She was on a team with twenty-four skaters including Sofia Ranocchi from Curitiba, sponsored by Fedato Sports thanks to advocate Ruy Rebka Prado. The event was covered by Gazeta Esportiva (sports newspaper), and footage shows Maria on the left on the winners podium wearing a white t-shirt, pumping her fist! She took second place behind Miriam Casalle, ahead of Karen Zolco and Cristina Janececk.

The footage begins on the girls, and then seconds later they are receiving their awards:

Now in her sixties, Maria is still an active member of the skateboarding community along with her husband and extended family. She continues to be interviewed and recognized for her contributions, such as this feature on Telescopio TV:

And more recently, on March 26, 2022 a documentary on the history of Brazilian women’s skateboarding was produced by Emilie Souza (aka Pipa) called Into the Mirror: Fragmentos.

Maria is interviewed and recognized as a pioneer!


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