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Proud - Suz Graham

Proud - Suz Graham
January 30, 2012 - 

Throughout my career I have been sponsored by a lot of different companies, and always try and represent companies I personally support. But I am not exaggerating when I say I have never been so proud to be a part of a company than I am now with Five Ten. As a newer athlete to the company I have had the recent opportunity to meet lots of people within the company and couldn’t feel more welcome or at home as the entire company is built from the ground up of individuals who all share the same passion for adventure and the outdoors. I had the opportunity to meet with the President/Founder, Charles Cole, -who's big wall climbing history himself I cannot even begin to comprehend- and was stricken how rad this guy is on so many levels. And this is expressed throughout the whole company and everyone who works for them. This is just one reason why-

Being a BASE jumper can sometimes be a double-edged sword for my athletic career. Being a multisport athlete there are some companies out there who will not endorse me purely because I'm a BASE jumper. They are afraid of it, or most of the time just don’t understand it, for some reason or another shy away from the sport that defines half of who I am as an athlete and a person. It's amazing to not only be associated with a company who supports me, but they understand. They get it. And on top of that, they act as an advocate and a voice to the oppression from the National Park Service against BASE jumping.

This quote from Charles Cole himself, is inside the front cover of the new Five Ten product catalog.

"The Park Service has made it illegal to BASE jump in our National Parks. In order to arrest these brave athletes, enforcement officials have had to twist the law so far that the original intent is no longer recognizable.

Strangely enough, jumping off a cliff is permissible, but if you land, you will be arrested for "illegal air delivery". You will be fined, jailed, and your gear seized. For the first time in American history, politicians are attempting to halt the greatest adventurers of a generation from doing what they do best - redefining the limits of human capabilities and endurance.

Without these heroes, who will the next generation look to for inspiration - politicians?

BASE jumpers, climbers, mountain bikers, highliners, and others who use our National Parks and Monuments - repeat, our parks and monuments, are having their rights steadily stripped away in the name of protecting us from ourselves.

Stand up for your rights in your parks. See through the propaganda. Vote those who have not upheld their oath to protect our rights under the constitution, out of office. In November, change the national landscape.

Vote in droves; elections are not a joke."

Charles Cole
President/Founder Five Ten

I've personally have never made a BASE jump in a National Park, because I can't afford the fines, the possibility of a criminal record, and I really don't want to go to jail, too scary. I hope to be able to jump in places like Zion and Yosemite someday but until I can afford the risk- I will keep flying to Europe where I'm welcome! Thanks Charles, thanks for speaking out on my behalf and so many other athletes out there. The Brand of the Brave couldn't be more fitting!


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