The 29-year-old transgender skateboarder who won a female tournament against children as young as 10 in New York has shown no regret towards the youngsters in an interview.
Los Angeles resident Ricci Tres won the Boardr Open skateboarding competition at the weekend and took home a $500 prize – to the disapproval of many such as fellow skater Taylor Silverman.
“Male wins women’s skateboarding finals and money at the Boardr Open NYC presented by DC today,” Silverman, who herself has been beaten by trans skaters, wrote on Twitter.
Tres’ nearest rival was Shiloh Catori, aged 13, who finished in second and claimed $250. The other four finalists were all 17 or under with the youngest, Juri Iikura, just 10.
Taking defeat on the chin, Shiloh has addressed the matter in a video and said she wasn’t “at all” upset by the loss. She also added that skateboarding is a tolerant sport that should be open to all.
“If anything, I feel bad for Ricci right now,” the teenager said.
But in an interview with the Daily Mail, Tres vowed “I’m not going to go easy on them because they’re kids” and claimed that skateboarding isn’t as physically demanding as swimming or running, with age and gender not influential factors either.
“It’s funny it’s what I am getting beat up over the most, people saying, ‘You’re beating little kids, little girls.’ I didn’t intend to do that. This is the first one I’ve been to that I actually wanted to win… the age thing doesn’t really count,” Tres protested.
“I’m just skateboarding to be happy. I just want to be happy,” she added.
The Daily Mail reported that Tres tried to enter the Women’s Street USA Skateboarding National Championships to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics, but was rejected due to having too much testosterone.
Insisting she is different than UPenn trans swimmer Lia Thomas, who smashed records on the Ivy League college’s women’s team amid widespread controversy last season, Tres said: “I don’t think I have [a] physical advantage.”
“Look at me. I’m not buff or anything. I don’t work out really, I just skateboard.
“And I don’t think skateboarding has anything to do with physicality, especially when you look at kids these days. The whole physical aspect of skateboarding isn’t really there. It’s really the skill level.
“Any kind of advantage you get is determined by … skaters know … it’s your commitment and determination.”
Rather than compare herself to the likes of Thomas, Tres instead looked to motorsports to try and make a point.
“If you love the sport, it speaks to you and you find ways to do what you do on your board,” said Tres.
“If I have any advantage is that I’m extremely determined. But that’s not an advantage. Everyone has the opportunity. It’s kind of like a race car driver. It doesn’t matter what you look like, you can drive the car regardless of your physique.”
Addressing having categories other than male and female, with swimming governing body FINA vowing to create an open one moving forward after blocking trans swimmers, Tres noted: “There are so many suggestions.”
“It goes in hand with all the feedback I am receiving. A lot of it is negative, a lot of it is positive,” she revealed.
An ex-navy officer who “decided that I like being pretty and cute” two years ago and felt “guilty” for cross-dressing as a child, the father-of-three once known as Richard Batres explained the motives behind her transition for which she took testosterone-suppressing hormones.
“It was the thought of the fact that I’ve lived 27 years with this little guilt over random things that I didn’t give myself time to understand like cross-dressing … finally I just came to the realization that I am female, have a lot of female energy and that is what I prefer to be,” Tres said.
With her ex-wife and their kids now living in Minnesota while Tres lives in LA, the skateboarder revealed that the family hasn’t seen one another for over a year.
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