First let me tell you the first time I saw Kelly. It was back in 95 during the first ASA tour in NYC. She was sitting on the ground watching the Pro's.
I remember thinking to myself "who's she" for the obvious reason of "Wow another girl who skates."
I didn't see her skate but I soon learned there after of her guts from Ray Mendez. He said, "she's my new Hero!" Next time I saw her was the following year at Miami NISS. She won street with her eyes closed leaving Neda Gane and myself in amazement. I interviewed her in hopes a skate mag would print it, but she was an unknown.
She now skates on the K2 Pro team and is one of the top ranked female skaters in the world. She is beautiful, kind, caring, considerate and like a sister to me. She is a loyal skater to any company that sponsors her and probably one of the best role models we have.
She is the silver medalist in street at both the 99 summer X-Games and Gravity Games. When at home, she skates the streets of NYC. She is envied by most girls and drooled over by most guys.
And I taught her every thing she knows….just kidding. As strongly opinionated as I am, I get right to the point.
Kelly Mathews at the All Girls WASN Sk8 Fest!
Kate Gengo: Have you heard anything about the ASA canning the Pro Women's division?
Kelly Mathews: I haven't heard anything about that?
KG: Did you hear the rumors?
KM: Well…..yes…..right now from you.
KG: If it does happen this would mean you won't be skating for a title anymore and your chances for placing will by very small. You would have to hope that the guys fall on every trick. How do you feel about that?
KM: I think from that point of view it's not a good thing, but I actually want to compete against the guys. I think the girls would get extremely awesome….all of them. It will push them more.
KG: But what about the money at the Gravity Games? $10,000! That could pay for a year at collage.
KM: Yes it would be nice….but we would get more recognition if we enter the guys contest cause television only shows the guys contest and you would be in that contest.
KG: Yes probably so, but usually TV only shows the top runs and the guys coming in 15th or 16th never get seen. Not to say girls will never do better then that.
KM: Who knows….I really think it will push us.
KG: I do agree with you and actually just recently I was talking to Fabiola and she would love to see the girls be just as good as the guys.….so my question is, Now what will Kelly Mathews do?
KM: I'm going to go to collage! (We both scream and jump for joy.) But I'm going to skate to. Have to have a balance.
KG: Good! I know you told me this before, what will you be studying?
KM: I want to be a physical therapist and study psychology.
KG: Kewl! You mean the little quite Kelly Mathews I know wants to analyze people?
KM: Nah…I just want to study it.
KG: You know….people sometime think I'm a psychiatrist…I'm always telling people what they're doing wrong. (Kelly looks at me funny)
KM: (Laughing) We can kind-a tell that Kate.
KG:OK, I have another really important question. When I saw the name Loren Swan….what does that name mean to you? (Kelly is now running away holding her hand over her mouth, her face is turning purple and she is trying to speak)
KM: Wait! I'm OK. (she must have gotten something caught in her throat)
KG: Are you officially on Team Destiny because it's already in print that you are.
KM: aaaaaahhhhhh, well I don't have a contract, so no I'm not on that team.
KG: So you are 19 now?
KM: I'm almost 18.
KG: You know I always think you are older because you are so mature.
KM: Thanks Kate.
KG: I think you are a wonderful role model and I think that's very important. How do you feel about being a role model in the industry?
KM: It feels great. Skaters say I'm their favorite skater and it makes me think I have responsibilities to hold up to. It reflects back and is very rewarding.
KG: Are you going to cry? (we giggle like little girls)
KM: Yes! (we pretend to cry like bad actors)
We both hugged and laughed as if we were fraternity girls bonding. I said thanks and she took of to the ramps before I could say "Have a wonderful holiday..
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