The final stop of Olympic Skateboarding season 1 ended off with the World Championships in São Paulo, Brazil. This contest is also known as the Streetleague Skateboarding Super Crown. This is the biggest event and the highest level of competitive Skateboarding in the World. It is also the most important contest as it counts for the most points on the World Skate Ranking.
The pro open qualifiers was held on the same course as the Streetleague final rounds. For those of you who haven't read my other blog posts, the pro open qualifiers consists of over 100 skateboarders representing their National Governing bodies (Federations). In order to get to the international events, each countries federation would host a national championships in which the top 3 athletes are selected and sent to represent their country internationally. I was one of South Africas representative at the World Championships in São Paulo. I knew that it was an honour to be there and represent my friends, family and country as a whole, this on its own was enough motivation for me to give it all I had and represent my people to the best of my ability.
This was my first time ever skating on a Streetleague course and I was extremely excited. From watching Streetleague contests as a kid I never thought I would be on the course in real life, honestly it was a dream come true. Nonetheless, I had to put all my emotions aside as we were set into specific groups that only had an hour to practice on the course each day. In one of those groups there were over 20 skateboarders on the course at the same time and incase you've never seen a street league course in real life... it isn't that big at all and many collisions were bound to occur. In my first practice session, I warmed my legs up a little and then decided to drop in where I planned to start my run. On the roll away of the bank to bank there was another skateboarder coming down the big section that collided straight into me. The whole left hand side of my body was in extreme pain and I couldn't continue practicing for the remainder of my session. Instead I went to get treated by the Brazilian physiotherapist that took really good care of me to ensure I would be able to skate my practice session the following day.
The following day with the help of the Brazilian physiotherapist I was able to practice. I worked on a solid run that ensured I would skate the entire course while strategically flowing the course by using more basic filler tricks and with my new knowledge from the 2nd stop at the Olympic Qualifier in Los Angeles, I also went big and risked falling by doing more technical tricks that would amaze the judges. In my 3 minute Jam, I was skating with 3 other skaters at the same time in which one of them was announced Skater Of The Year in 2017, namely Jamie Foy (USA). Jamie made it all the way from the pro open qualifiers to the finals and placed 5th at the World Championships.
In the end I gave it everything I got to try qualify through to the quarter finals. I managed to land everything that I had planned in the jam except for bigspin front blunt down the big double set handrail. In the end i finished in 27th position which was 6 positions short of qualifying through to the quarter finals (Swipe on above post to view Jam & results). I have reason to believe that if I had landed my final trick then I could have possibly qualified within the top 21 but I was glad to qualify above some really amazing skateboarders such as Luan Oliveira, who has actually won a SLS World Championships event before. I know that it all comes down to the hard work and determination while I practice that will get me into the quarter finals, semi finals and finals at the next World Championships. However, I was clear of the next African Competitor by over 60 positions which means that I am currently qualifying to compete at the Olympic Games as the African Representative with my current ranking of #49 in the World.