Hoka Adds Trans Marathoner and Inclusivity Activist Cal Calamia to Its Athlete Ambassador Team


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Hoka has added a new member to its global athlete ambassador team: Cal Calamia.

“I am ecstatic to begin this partnership with Hoka. I am overcome with pride, gratitude, excitement and fulfillment,” Calamia said via Hoka’s blog. “More than anything, signing this contract is a sigh of relief. There is a whole team of folks at Hoka who believe in the future I am striving toward and will help me co-create it. My younger self would be so proud.”

On the blog, Hoka said its partnership with Calamia, as well as its sponsorship of their Non-Binary+ Run Club (NBRC), marks its “continued commitment towards creating a space where every athlete feels supported and empowered.” Calamia founded NBRC in 2022, which they said in the blog post was established to provide “an uplifting community for trans and nonbinary runners, walkers and bikers.”

In the blog post, Calamia — who wears many hats, including trans marathoner, inclusivity activist, educator, poet and community builder — said this partnership will center around “visibility, representation and action toward our guiding star: a more inclusive running world.”

“As is true for most trans athletes, there have also been many setbacks in my personal athletic career. A lot of doors have been closed, even locked. Sometimes, the door has been open, but then slammed shut as I stood in the frame, gutted,” Calamia wrote. “There is seemingly infinite ignorance and misinformation about trans athletes that is exclusionary at best and hateful at worst.”

Calamia also acknowledged the growth that has been made, most notably the races that have provided equal awards to top men, women and nonbinary competitors, as well as the addition of the category at major marathons.

Several of these races Calamia won, including becoming the first-ever winner of the nonbinary division in the 2022 San Francisco Marathon, winning the nonbinary division at the 2023 New York City Marathon in 2023 and more.

In the blog post, Calamia stated, “The support of allies and organizations who are committed to setting the record straight and building out opportunities for trans folks to thrive is imperative.” They also applauded Hoka’s enthusiasm for the partnership, which they said represents its “steadfast belief in not only me, but a future that includes and celebrates trans and nonbinary athletes.”

Calamia is joining an athlete ambassador team that includes famed runners Hellah Sidibe, the first individual Black man to run across America, as well as Jim Walmsley, whose course record-setting time in 2023 of 19:37:43 made him the first-ever American male to win the UTMB ultramarathon.

About the Author

Peter Verry is the Senior News and Features Editor for Athletic and Outdoor at Footwear News. He oversees coverage of the two fast-paced and ultracompetitive markets, which includes conducting in-depth interviews with industry leaders and writing stories on sneakers and outdoor shoes. He is a lifelong sneaker addict (and shares his newest purchases via @peterverry on Instagram) and spends most of his free time on a trail. He holds an M.A. in journalism from Hofstra University and can be reached at peter.verry@footwearnews.com.



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