It’s been a big competition year for Mark Golter, and it’s only
The Laguna Beach native began the season by winning the Extreme
Downhill International professional world title. Last weekend in New
York, Golter added a gold medal to his credits as he captured first
place in the pro division of the 2002 Two-Man Downhill Skateboarding
competition at the Gravity Games held in Allegany State Park in
Salamanca, N.Y. The Gravity Games is an international action sports,
lifestyle and music festival featuring more than 200 of the world’s
best professional athletes competing in bike, freestyle motocross,
inline and skating competitions.
“It sure was a big weekend for me,” said the 32-year-old, a 1987
graduate of Laguna Beach High. “I felt great out there and just had
an awesome time.”
Golter, who says in his spare time he tries to reach speeds of 80
mph, led the pack of competitors from qualifying round competition,
all the way through the finals of the 2002 Two-Man Downhill
Skateboarding competition. In the process, his impressive performance
ended Dane Van Bommel’s two-year reign as the event’s champion.
The competition took place in humid conditions that included
morning showers and an 85-degree day last Sunday.
“That didn’t bother me -- I was ready to go,” he said.
The 14 competitors each take two solo, qualifying runs, and the
best of their times is used to determine seeding. The event featured
two-man heats and a single elimination format. Golter finished first
among all competitors in qualifiers and had a score of 98.403.
The battle for the gold medal came down to Golter and two-time
defending champ Van Bommel, who came out strong and opened up a big
lead. But Golter fought back and eventually took over the lead
three-quarters through the race, then held off one final charge by
Van Bommel to win the gold. Golter’s finish in the 2002 Gravity Games
earned him $18,500, a great monetary gain for a man whose first
downhill skating video -- completed in 1985, was a class project at
Laguna Beach High, and aired on the city’s local cable channel. The
video, produced by Garth Wykoff, featured a clip of Golter
skateboarding down 3rd Street while his hands were handcuffed behind
Golter recently completed his first downhill movie, which is the
“first of its kind,” he said. “Stand Up and Be Counted” took three
years to complete.
“While the action sports industry has successfully promoted many
sports through video, such as surfing, snowboarding, wakeboarding,
motocross and BMX, I am the first to produce a video release
exclusively featuring downhill skateboarding,” he said.
The video, Golter said, will be available in October in all major
skateboard shops and also at www.markgolter.com. In addition, NBC,
which televised the Gravity Games and will broadcast the games on a
taped-delayed basis between Oct. 6-Nov. 16, will show a small trailer
of “Stand Up And Be Counted,” he said.
“It’s been an incredible year for me,” Golter added. “I’m having a
great time doing something I really love.”
Golter will attempt to add more to his resume when he returns to
New York this weekend to compete in the first points-rated race for
2003 in Madison County.