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Falling in love with skateboarding and punk rock in her hometown of Deland, Florida, Jen O’Brien first honed her skills in Daytona Beach, where she got a job at a skatepark, then in Southern California, where she moved to pursue her dreams in 1994. Since then, she became one of the first females ever to skate at the X Games and win a medal, was the first girl to win TransWorld SKATEboarding’s female vert skater of the year award, became the first woman to skate in men’s vert doubles at X Games with her then husband Bob Burnquist, and was also the first action sports athlete to grace the cover of High Times magazine. After the birth of their daughter, Lotus, in 1999, Jen became an outspoken advocate for non-GMO foods and an organic lifestyle within action sports.
Jen also joined with Bob and Damon Way to found the Action Sports Environmental Coalition, a group dedicated to increasing environmental awareness in the board sports. O’Brien can also be credited as one of the lead proponents who urged the X Games to not only feature women, but to up their prize purse (from $2,500 to a respectable $15,000) and expanded the women’s television coverage through her contact with X Games general manager Chris Siepock and X Games creator Ron Semiao. Still skating, surfing, and traveling the world, Jen remains one of the most influential female skateboarders to have stepped on a board over the past two decades.