BBC commentators are criticized for misleading first openly non-binary Olympian Alana Smith

Two members of the BBC’s Olympic commentary team have been criticized for repeatedly misjudging the first openly non-binary athlete to compete in the games.

Team USA star Alana Smith, who uses she/she pronouns, was knocked out of the Women’s Street Skateboarding semifinals after failing to score three tricks at Ariake Urban Sports Park in Tokyo.

Despite the 20-year-old Arizonian wearing a “pronoun pin” and having written “she/them” on their skateboard twice, they were repeatedly referred to as “she” and “her” by the BBC’s Ed Leigh and Marc Churchill.

Many skateboard fans noticed the mistake and took to Twitter to complain, with one writing, ‘Alana Smith literally had their pronouns on their skateboard and the BBC commentators still gendered them wrong, is that hard?’

Team USA star Alana Smith, who uses she/she pronouns, was knocked out of the Women’s Street Skateboarding semifinals after failing to score three tricks at Ariake Urban Sports Park in Tokyo

Despite the 20-year-old Arizonian wearing a

Despite the 20-year-old Arizonian wearing a “pronoun pin” and having written “she/them” on their skateboard twice, they were repeatedly referred to as “she” and “her” by the BBC’s Ed Leigh and Marc Churchill.

“I find this quite hard to see, in Poe Pinson you had a really great skate that she was fighting for an Olympic place. Alana Smith is a great skater, but she doesn’t have any competition results from last year,” said commentator Marc Churchill, himself a professional skateboarder.

“And she could have possibly focused on the park. To get out of here and Ollie [a skateboarding trick where the rider and board leap into the air without the use of the rider’s hands] a course…maybe she has an injury,” he added.

“It’s coming from her again. She’s going to throw it. She certainly isn’t approaching the course cautiously,’ added Ed Leigh, the BBC’s snowboard correspondent.

BBC source told FEMAIL the presenters made a ‘honest mistake’ because ‘errors occur on a live broadcast’.

BBC's Marc Churchill - a professional skateboarder - called Alana 'she'

BBC’s Marc Churchill – a professional skateboarder – called Alana ‘she’

The BBC's snowboard correspondent Ed Leigh (left) also often referred to Alana as 'she'

The BBC’s snowboard correspondent Ed Leigh (left) also often referred to Alana as ‘she’

Dozens of fans complained that the presenters used the wrong pronouns.

Watching #Tokyo2020 women’s skateboarding on the BBC and hearing the commentators constantly misusing Alana Smith and not using pronouns when it’s literally written on their boards is so irritating and disappointing,” said one.

“BBC commentators are just…determined not to use Alana Smith’s pronouns,” added another.

‘To the BBC commentators. Alana Smith has them on their skateboard and that’s what matters. I’m sure it’s not malicious, just a note,” wrote a third.

Dozens of fans complained that the presenters used the wrong pronouns

Dozens of fans complained that the presenters used the wrong pronouns

Commenting on a fan, Tim Warwood, who also presents skateboarding coverage for the BBC but was not part of the coverage, he said “sure it was not intentional” and that the BBC team presenting from Media City in Salford, Manchester, limited resources.

“I’m sure the boys would apologize to Alana,” he wrote.

“I hadn’t seen anything about gender and I’m 100 percent sure they didn’t either. Hence the error.

‘If you don’t meet a skater that often, you trust the information that the organizer of the event gives you’

“I’m not saying it was missed, I’m sure it was there, but personally I haven’t seen it, and the boys are back in Salford with limited resources.”

Pictured at the games, Alana made history when she was 12 years old when she became the youngest medalist in X Games history after winning a silver medal for the Women's Park Contest in Barcelona in 2013.

Pictured at the games, Alana made history when she was 12 years old when she became the youngest medalist in X Games history after winning a silver medal for the Women’s Park Contest in Barcelona in 2013.

These are games marked the debut of skateboarding as an Olympic sport — yet another sign that an activity once embraced as a symbol of counterculture has firmly entered the mainstream.  Alana is pictured with their teammates

These are games marked the debut of skateboarding as an Olympic sport — yet another sign that an activity once embraced as a symbol of counterculture has firmly entered the mainstream. Alana is pictured with their teammates

Alana made history when she was 12 when they became the youngest medalist in X Games history after winning a silver medal for the Women’s Park Contest in Barcelona in 2013.

Alana and Canadian soccer player Quinn (who is known by only one name) are the first two Olympians to be openly non-binary.

Quinn, 25, came out on Instagram last year as non-binary and transgender and uses the pronouns she/she.

These are games marked the debut of skateboarding as an Olympic sport — yet another sign that an activity once embraced as a symbol of counterculture has firmly entered the mainstream.

Skateboarding joins surfing and sport climbing at the Tokyo Olympics this summer, with organizers and broadcasters hoping the new events will draw a new and younger crowd to the Games.

Unlike more traditional Olympic events, park and street skateboarding competitions are accompanied by loud music and held on a new track on Tokyo’s waterfront.

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