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Trans skateboarder, 29, defends beating young girls at competition

The transgender skateboarder who sparked fury by beating a 13-year-old girl to claim first prize in a competition defended competing against children, telling DailyMail.com exclusively: ‘I wasn’t going to go easy on them just because they’re kids.’ 

Ricci Tres, 29, is a Los Angeles-based transgender woman who was formerly known as Richard Batres, a petty officer in the Navy who was married to a woman and who has three young children with her. Two years ago, Tres started taking hormones to transition to become a woman, after spending her childhood feeling ‘guilty’ about crossdressing. 

Last year, she submitted a social media entry to take part in the women’s Olympic qualifiers, but testing found she still had too much testosterone in her body. Now, she is within the IOC hormone requirements to compete as a woman, and is hopeful she may be able to qualify for the national team. 

Tres shot to infamy over the weekend after claiming first prize at The Boardr competition in New York City, an open competition which invites kids and adults to compete against each other – a common structure in skateboarding. 

Shiloh Catori, 13, won the women’s competition last year followed by 16-year-old Christine Cottam and 10-year-old Juri Ikura. This year, Shiloh was second to Tres, missing out on half of the $500 prize money she claimed last year. 

Many say it’s unfair that Tres, who lived 27 years as a man before coming out as trans, should be able to compete against the young girls and that it goes ‘beyond the pale’. 

But she sees no issue with it, telling DailyMail.com the sport is not as physically demanding as others like swimming or running. 

‘I’m not going to go and be easy on them because they’re kids,’ she said in an interview on Tuesday.

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Ricci Tres, 29, a Los Angeles-based transgender woman who was formerly known as Richard Batres, told DailyMail.com she sees nothing wrong with competing against 13-year-old girls and insists she does not have a physical advantage, saying the sport is more about 'determination' and 'skill' rather than physicality

Ricci Tres, 29, a Los Angeles-based transgender woman who was formerly known as Richard Batres, told DailyMail.com she sees nothing wrong with competing against 13-year-old girls and insists she does not have a physical advantage, saying the sport is more about ‘determination’ and ‘skill’ rather than physicality 

‘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 said she came to ‘the realization’ that she is female in two years ago after secretly cross-dressing for years as a child.  

 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.

‘It was the thought of the fact that I’ve lived 27 years with these 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,’ she said. 

Tres believes that skateboarding is down to the individual’s skill – not their gender, strength, weight or height – and that she doesn’t fit the mold of a burly man anyway. 

‘I don’t think I have 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.’ 

She said kids aged 12 and up are just as much of a threat to her as adults, and that means it’s fair for her to compete against her. 

‘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. 

‘If you love the sport, it speaks to you and you find ways to do what you do on your board. If I have any advantage is that I’m extremely determined. But that’s not an advantage. Everyone has the opportunity.’ 

Tres says she was always interested in skateboarding as a young boy but that she didn’t consider it professionally until it became an Olympic sport in 2020, around the same time she was starting her transition.  

She added that she believes her case is different to that of transgender UPenn swimmer Lia Thomas, who thrashed female competitors in the pool after undertaking hormone therapy. 

‘I can’t really speak for her and what she is going through but I would say skateboarding [is different]. You have an external source your sport isn’t just solely based on your body like sprinting would be. 

Ricci used to go by Richard Batres. As a man, he spent four years in the Navy and had three kids with his ex-wife. Batres is shown above with his two sons and right, in the military

Ricci used to go by Richard Batres. As a man, he spent four years in the Navy and had three kids with his ex-wife. Batres is shown above with his two sons and right, in the military

Ricci used to go by Richard Batres. As a man, he spent four years in the Navy and had three kids with his ex-wife. Batres is shown above with his two sons and right, in the military, before hormone therapy

Ricci says being trans 'wasn’t something I decided' but something she 'came to find'. 'It was the thought of the fact that I’ve lived 27 years with these 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,' she said

Ricci says being trans 'wasn’t something I decided' but something she 'came to find'. 'It was the thought of the fact that I’ve lived 27 years with these 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,' she said

Ricci says being trans ‘wasn’t something I decided’ but something she ‘came to find’. ‘It was the thought of the fact that I’ve lived 27 years with these 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,’ she said 

Now, Ricci says she is content as a woman

Now, Ricci says she is content as a woman

Now, Ricci is in college studying fire fighter technician training. She wants to carry on skateboarding too 

The 29-year-old intends to carry on competing in open contests to boost her rank and one day qualify for the Olympics

The 29-year-old intends to carry on competing in open contests to boost her rank and one day qualify for the Olympics

The 29-year-old intends to carry on competing in open contests to boost her rank and one day qualify for the Olympics 

Ricci says she'll continue to skateboard because it makes her 'happy'

Ricci says she’ll continue to skateboard because it makes her ‘happy’ 

‘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,’ she said. 

 I don’t think I have 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.

Should other sports then be categorized by gender? She doesn’t believe so, and says to enforce biological gender grouping would deny who she now is. 

Instead of male and female or even having three categories – as some have advocated for – Tres believes a fairer way to judge athletes’ ability would be by considering their height, weight, body mass index and experience. 

‘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. I think it’s all necessary. People can get angry people can get happy and people can come together and come up with something. 

‘Personally I don’t think segregating everything is the right way. I feel like that would be calling us different, like a different human race when we’re not. 

‘I’m not saying this is the right one either but it’s the closest one that I’ve found for some kind of equality, what about some kind of weight-oriented. Something based off of body mass or weight? It’s so difficult when we’re trying to create a controlled group.

‘I took all these tests these testosterone tests… it’s a little intrusive. Maybe like something based on weight index or maybe experience – like how long have you been skateboarding?’

‘I don’t think that’s the right one. I’m not saying this is the right one either but it’s the closest one that I’ve found for some kind of equality, what about some kind of weight-oriented. 

‘Something based off of body mass or weight? It’s so difficult when we’re trying to create a controlled group.

‘I took all these tests these testosterone tests… it’s a little intrusive. Maybe like something based on weight index or maybe experience – like how long have you been skateboarding?’

The competition: Tres beat 13-year-old Shiloh Catori, 16-year-old Jordan Pascale and 28-year-old Chrissy Brown along with 10-year-old Juri Iikura, the youngest who came third last year in The Boardr Open

The competition: Tres beat 13-year-old Shiloh Catori, 16-year-old Jordan Pascale and 28-year-old Chrissy Brown along with 10-year-old Juri Iikura, the youngest who came third last year in The Boardr Open 

Taylor Silverman, another skateboarder, recently complained about Redbull allowing a transgender woman to compete against her. She said she was cheated out of prize money as a result

Taylor Silverman, another skateboarder, recently complained about Redbull allowing a transgender woman to compete against her. She said she was cheated out of prize money as a result

Taylor Silverman, another skateboarder, recently complained about Redbull allowing a transgender woman to compete against her. She said she was cheated out of prize money as a result 

Tres served four years in the Navy as an aviation machinist, working aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln. 

She spoke fondly of her time in the military, describing it as ‘awesome’, but said she walked away because she no longer wanted to subscribe to the ‘hierarchical structure’ it enforced.

While in the Navy, she married her now ex-wife Hannah. The pair have three children; Greyson, seven, Jonah, five, and Penelope, two. 

The family is now estranged, with the kids living in Minnesota. Tres hasn’t seen them for over a year and says she can’t afford the flight out to see them from California. 

At first, she says they were understanding of her transition and even called her ‘Mom’. She says she is now glad to have them apart from her, because she isn’t ‘influencing’ their acceptance of her. 

‘You can only ask so much. They’ve been so beautiful and even being away, they’ve begun to develop their own understanding for what it all means, and I love it because it’s given them this kind of… 

‘I appreciate the fact that they left because when I began transitioning it was like a process. I had to break down because I had to come to terms with all these things that I didn’t understand before and build anew. 

‘Now that they are away, they aren’t influenced by me. I didn’t want them to be – I didn’t want people to think that because dad’s turning to mom, the kids are going to think “we should be the same”.

Ricci with sons Greyson, now seven, and Jonah, now five. The kids now live on the other side of the country from her and she hasn't seen them for over a year

Ricci with sons Greyson, now seven, and Jonah, now five. The kids now live on the other side of the country from her and she hasn’t seen them for over a year 

Ricci has three young children with her ex-wife, Hannah. She is shown with her youngest, her daughter, who is still a toddler. She hasn't seen her kids for more than a year since they moved to Minnesota with their mom

Ricci has three young children with her ex-wife, Hannah. She is shown with her youngest, her daughter, who is still a toddler. She hasn't seen her kids for more than a year since they moved to Minnesota with their mom

Ricci has three young children with her ex-wife, Hannah. She is shown with her youngest, Penelope, who is now two. She hasn’t seen her kids for more than a year since they moved to Minnesota with their mom. She says that she was ‘afraid’ that she would influence her kids with her decision and that she is now happy they can build an understanding of her transition from afar, on their own 

Tres says she is on good terms with her ex-wife Hannah, and that their relationship is now ‘the best it has ever been’. 

Hannah did not respond to DailyMail.com’s inquiries. 

Ricci's ex-wife Hannah is shown pregnant with their daughter in 2019

Ricci’s ex-wife Hannah is shown pregnant with their daughter in 2019 

In the meantime, Tres is using her GI Bill – an education benefit provided by the military – to attend college classes in California, where she is learning fire fighting technician training. 

‘I love firefighters. Shout-out to firefighters!’ she giggled. 

She hopes to one day be allowed to compete in the Olympics, and wants to continue winning smaller, local competitions to boost her world ranking and be able to qualify. 

Currently, The Boardr ranks her as 839th in the world. Shiloh, the 13-year-old she beat over the weekend, is 133rd. 

‘I’m just skateboarding to be happy. I just want to be happy,’ she said. 

Shiloh released a video earlier in the week insisting that she is not upset ‘at all’ over the result, and that she plans to block out any negativity to carry on with her Olympic dream. 

She said skateboarding is a tolerant sport and that anyone should be able to compete. 

‘If anything, I feel bad for Ricci right now,’ she said in a video uploaded from Rome, where she is taking part in another competition. 

Taylor Silverman, another skateboarder feels differently. She said she is tired of losing to transgender woman and that she complained to Redbull about it, but has heard nothing back. 

In an Instagram post, she said: ‘I have been skateboarding for eleven years and competing for several years. I have been in three different contests with trans women, two of which I placed second. At the last contest series I did for Red Bull, I placed second.

‘The trans competitor who won took $1000 dollars in qualifiers, $3000 in finals and $1000 in best trick. This totaled to $5000 prize money meant for the female athletes. I took $1,000 in qualifiers and $1750 for second place, so $2750 in total.

‘The girl who deserved $1000 for best trick took nothing along with whoever would have placed third. I am sick of being bullied into silence.’ 

She shared a screenshot of the email she sent to Redbull in which she complained about the rules.  


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