Some of the best timber sport athletes are competing in Cherry Valley this weekend and much of the event focuses around women. Charleston, West Virginia native Kristy Cogar started to compete after encouragement from her husband.
"You know when I first started 15-14 years ago, I went to a show that was all men and his father had to ask the judge to let me chop, and they didn’t want to because they never had a girl chop there."
Nathan Waterford is the President of the Outdoor Games and says that mindset has changed.
"Within the last 10 years the women’s side of the sport is becoming increasingly competitive."
Martha King came from Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. She came here ready to compete and win.
"This is one of the biggest women’s competitions in the country. We’ve got Boonville where we have a solid day of women’s events, and then the rest of the shows we might have women’s events interspersed with men’s events, but this is an all womens show."
Julie Miller is from Branchport, New York and trains hard. She chopped through a log like it was nothing, but after finishing she took the time to make sure and cheer on her competition.
"It’s important that we have venues like this that showcase our abilities because our men competitors here are just as strong as us and stronger and it kind of takes some of the spotlight away from the women but you know we’re out here doing the same thing."
The competition is just as much physical as it is mental. One competition is known as the underhand chop. Competitors chop through one half of a log while standing on top of it, then turn and chop the other side until it’s separated. Martha King talked about what goes in to the competition.
"You really got to pick everything apart and see how can I improve here. If you’re just in it to have some fun, that’s great too. You know we’re glad to have you. We want to see passionate people who just love doing this, but if you want to win I think that you really need to be super technical about everything that you do and really put in a lot of time."
Clifton Springs, New York competitor Matthew Marks is preparing for a chainsaw competition, but he’s been keeping an eye on the women athletes and thinks they’re certainly deserving of some respect.
"I’ll tell you what. The top girls in the United States right now, they’re pretty muscular, pretty athletic young ladies and it’s pretty impressive."
That changing attitude is what keeps Kristy Cogar coming back for more.
"So I mean I’ve been at shows where I’m the only girl, and then to be here and to be accepted its’ great."
Martha King has a challenge for any of you men out there that think you can compete with these women…
"I’d invite them to come on out and give it a try and see if they can match up."
The women’s top prize is a Harley Davidson motorcycle and ten thousand dollars.