Who has been thrilled to see Brazilian skaters Tokyo Olympics You may not know it, but it is in Nova Iguaçu, in . is in baxada luminance, the first track for the practice of the sport in Latin America. It was created in 1976 in Praça Ricardo Javier da Silveira, downtown, as XtraVIP columnist Alberto Aquino recalled last week. At the inauguration, Luiz Carlos Mansour, better known as the Hotio, celebrates the country’s progress on four wheels.
– At that time we had the United States as the track reference, and bringing it to Brazil was a huge benefit for the whole of Latin America, it was very satisfying. Now watching skateboarding in the Olympics is so rewarding, it was a dream. And Brazil is a force – the veteran says.
This is the first year of skateboarding at the Olympic Games. In the street category, Calvin Hoefler and Resa Leal, a Fadinha, took silver in the men’s and women’s. But the park category still needs to be in place, starting tomorrow, in which Brazil will be represented by Dora Varela, Isadora Pacheco, Yendira Esp, Luiz Francisco, Pedro Barros and Pedro Quintas. Ricardo Gonsalves, 53, a frequent visitor to the Nova Iguaçu track since the 1980s, looks at the sporting scene today with optimism.
– We had this dream, to see skateboarding in the Olympics, because it was always very marginalized, they said it was a drugie thing, and it is an honor to reach this level. Skateboarding is an amazing sport! A skateboarder is an artist and has all the qualities of any other athlete to compete in the Olympics. I want to die practicing, skateboarding until I can’t take it anymore – he says.
In her third Olympiad, Jacqueline Ferreira even heard from her family that weightlifting was not a ‘girl thing’.
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World skateboarding idol, Brazilian Bob Bernquist not only toured but “dropped” the track Nova Iguaçu in 2004. Currently, it is full of cracks and holes. The remodeling of the place is an age-old struggle for abhyasis, who also revamped a kind of street circuit on their own with materials donated from sporting events. The last time the runway saw construction work was in 2015. Nova Iguaçu City Hall told the reporter that the renovation project is in the final stages of preparation and there will be a bidding process for the works.
Hotio recalls that, in the 70s, skateboards were reformulated with roller skates, and the material sometimes needed to be imported:
— At that time I had to save money for months to have a skateboard. Today you swipe the card, the parcel and you already have your skateboard. It is not cheap now, but it is already more economical, because before importing it, it had to wait. The quality of the national skateboard is as good as the American one.
For him, being a skateboarder in the ’70s was a bit more romantic and less radical in his definitions.
“It was almost like ballet on a skateboard. The maneuvers today are much more radical than in our time. The adventure was going downhill or going up a sidewalk ramp – recalls Hotio, who compares: – Very significant improvement Skateboarding has a professional meaning, unlike our times, when it was just fun. Today it is an Olympic sport!
Project encourages practice in Kanze
From the second generation, skateboarder Andre Viana, 46, has been struggling to keep up with the culture of the sport at Baxada Fluminense. He has been doing a course since 2005, where he teaches children and adults about the sport. In Space, there is also a social project in which it provides free skateboarding lessons to children in the Kanz neighborhood, supported by the school.
Having been involved in the skateboarding scene since the 1990s, he said families are participating and following more children who like to play the sport in recent years:
— Earlier, I was asked what family was like on skateboarding, and I would answer: “There is no such thing as a family. We are alone, we go to championships alone, no one takes us to the track. Today it is different. The parents of my students are younger than me and like to take their kids on board. Today parents think it’s cool, family.