After Tokyo

Going through all the highs and lows of just experiencing the thrill of competing for my country at the debut of Skateboarding in the Olympic Games. 

I was truly trying to embrace the full experience and feel proud of myself even though I wasn't happy with my performance. I was overwhelmed with all the support that fans from around the world gave me especially from Brazil, Japan and South Africa. Messages poured in from family and friends telling me how proud they are of me despite the circumstances and the result of getting 3rd last. haha. 

For those of you that don't know what happened, I broke my wrist in 2 places just 2 days before the contest. The main reason this happened two days before the event was because I had to feel out the big section so I knew what to expect from the obstacles and also give my body a full day of recovery after taking all that impact. Moral of the story is that the big section in Tokyo was huge and you have to approach each attempt with 100% focus and confidence. I had to learn that the hard way as I ended up with a broken scaphoid as well as a fractured distal radius. BTW the medical facilities in Tokyo were top class. I had a SONA, X ray and MRI scan all done on my wrist. They also provided me with a cast to still be able to compete in the contest. 

Brandon Valjalo BROKEN WRIST POST SURGERY

Post Tokyo I had a decision to make. 

1.) Get surgery and be out of the European circuit for 2021. 3 months before rehabilitation and time off my board. 

2.) No surgery, compete in European circuit for 2021 but risk the possibilities of ever throwing a ball to my child. Plus arthritis in my wrist causing it to lose functionality overtime. 

I went with option 1 and received the surgery because I need my right wrist as it is indeed my strongest hand that I use when I eat, write and brush my teeth. 

Oh yeah before I decided to get the surgery, I went on a family vacation to Greece. We got to celebrate the achievement of my performance at the Olympics as well as meet up with my brother Sheldon who lives in London. It was exciting because we hadn't seen him in almost 2 years thanks to Corona virus and the fact that he now has a girlfriend that the family got to meet for the first time. 

Ok! Back to the serious stuff though even though that family vacation was amazing. While on my vacation, I received an offer from Nike as well as received a feature in the latest GQ South Africa Magazine post my Olympic performance. It seemed as if things were all going really well except for the fact that I needed to get surgery as soon as I got back from vacation. 

Post the surgery and vacation, I now had 3 months of healing to take place and I was wondering what I was going to do with all that time. Not being able to Skate especially after an experience like the Olympics really had me feeling like I was at the top of the Drakensberg mountains then moments later I was all the way at the bottom of the mountain. ALL I WANTED TO DO WAS SKATE but instead I was able to further pursue my Marketing degree by completing a few modules as well as play a lot of Fifa and Fortnite.

Just before my surgery I had to get in one last edit before I was on a 3 month rest from the board. This edit was filmed in appreciation to Easy Equities for all their support leading up to the Olympic Games. 

The healing process for me was filled with activities that I was going to see from another perspective. By that I mean the Ultimate X contest was back in Sun City Resort after Covid had the event delayed for 2 years. I have podiumed in the last 3 years that Ultimate X was held including 1st, 2nd & 3rd. However, this time I was going just as a spectator. 

Watching all the homies Skate the event was like holding Candy in front of a baby for me. All I wanted to do was compete. Unfortunately it was too soon since I had my surgery to risk injuring my wrist for life. Nonetheless it was a great time in Sun City, We went to the pools and drank cocktails, watched some great skateboarding, released my Sun City Project with Red Bull and also had some fun in the Casino. A weekend full of fun and excitement. To watch my Red Bull Sun City Project then tap the following link below. 

Now I know you might all be thinking, when did you actually rest. haha. However, That's not even the end of it. Just about at the 2.5 month mark post surgery I was offered to travel to the Africa - France Summit that was hosted in Montpellier, France. I was flown out to represent African Skateboarding. Little did I know that they actually set up a mini ramp with grandstands for spectators to come and watch. Now naturally I always pack my skateboard in my suitcase regardless of where I go and I'm lucky I had it with me so that I could actually skate even though I have been off my board for the past 2.5 months. 

The ramp wasn't all that small either so I thought it was going to be interesting. At first I won't even lie my legs where slightly shaky but it almost felt just as natural to be back on my board. It was an amazing experience being able to meet the French President as well as do a demo for the prime minister of France. But let me tell you that the most exciting part of this trip was the fact that I was back on my board again and happier than ever!! Not to forget that my cast was also coming off when I got back from my trip to France and I was in for the Surprise of my life when I signed with Red Bull.

 


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