No Medals Required: Rollerbladers, Wakeboarders, and BMX Moms Don't Need No Stinkin' Olympics | Feature | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

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No Medals Required: Rollerbladers, Wakeboarders, and BMX Moms Don't Need No Stinkin' Olympics

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As one of the "older skaters" in the region, Squire is something of a champion of the cause. He's constantly exploring for new places to skate, and he hosts blading competitions at spots such as "505" Teen Center and Hobbit Skate Park in Delray Beach. He hopes to soon organize an event that brings together skateboarders and rollerbladers to bridge that gap between the two. As with any sport requiring gravity-defying slides, grinds, and jumps, it's all about the individual looking past the very real danger of injury and "conquering your big fear," he says.

Jonatan Sredni, 29, South Beach

Motorcycle Racing and Kiteboarding

Jonatan Sredni is an adrenaline junkie who gets his fix from two disparate highs. Kiteboarding is all about chill vibes. "It's just you, the board, and the wind," he says. "The connection to nature is cool." Motorcycle racing, naturally, is about speed.

Kiteboarding is a fickle beast. It requires proficiency with the kite and the board and several skill sets, all working in tandem for things to go correctly. And because South Florida doesn't get many ideal wind days, "You have to drop everything and go when the conditions are right."

Motorcycle racing feeds the gearhead in Sredni. Racing since December 2007, he delights in the highly technical nature of racing, the minor adjustments and alterations, both to his form and to his equipment, that are necessary to compete. "Time stops on a motorcycle," he says. "It's a physical workout, and it's a mental workout."

For the sake of balance, there's a give-and-take with his "opposite" interests. If it's an ideal day for kiteboarding — which he also took up in 2007 — but it happens to be a bike-race weekend, he'll still dutifully get on his bike at the starting line. But if it's just a practice day at the track and the wind is blowing at ten knots or above? He'll kowtow to nature and skip the bike.

Joel Meinholz, 37, Miami Beach

Skateboarding

Confines are not for Joel Meinholz. He was drawn to skateboarding a quarter-century ago precisely because it was the antithesis of restraint. "It was just something to do without any sort of team or controlled environment," he says. "It's just you and the street."

A pro rider, he's been sponsored for about ten years by MIA Skate Shop, Hopps, Vans, and Independent, among others. He supplements his skateboarding career by throwing parties and events through promoter I Am Your Villain, which hosts skate-culture-friendly throwdowns like magazine-release parties, street-bike rides, and musical events. He doesn't log as much time on a board as he did in the early years, but no day is complete without a few hours of riding.

"Every day is entertaining," he says. "Every day in the streets, you come across something that makes you laugh or smile."

Meinholz moved to South Florida in the mid-'90s — initially, to pursue surfing. "I grew up in the Midwest," he says, "wanting for waves." A Milwaukee native, Meinholz says part of the initial draw of skateboarding was that it gave him something he couldn't otherwise find in Wisconsin. "It chose me. It's just something that I was attracted to."

Karrie Norberg, 51, Richmond Heights

BMX Racing and Mountain Biking

Karrie Norberg's introduction to BMX in 2007 was as a self-described "proud sports mom," sitting on the sidelines and watching her son as he raced around the track during practice sessions in Miami. But then she bought "the cheesiest little BMX in the universe" and started pedaling.

The first year, she'd "go around the track and think, This is so much work." She kept at it and tracked her progress by counting the number of laps she was able to do during each of her son's practices. The world of racing opened up to her when she accompanied him to his first BMX championship and she impulsively signed up for her own race. "I did terrible," the emergency-room nurse laughs.

Bitten by the bug, she began taking coaching tips from her son. She worked her way up the ranks in state competitions and eventually the national level. Things culminated in a trip to Adelaide, Australia, for the 2009 UCI BMX World Championships, where she finished seventh in the world in her age group.

Now a full-fledged bike chick, she has a room dedicated to her wheels, and she has found a passion for mountain and road biking. "I think a lot of people don't understand what I do," she says, though other moms do ride BMX. "Anybody could come out and do it. I'm not some Amazon, and I was never that much of an athlete in high school. The one thing I had going for me was that I wasn't a quitter."

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Tricia Woolfenden

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