The World Roller Games just concluded in Barcelona.
Photo by Jeff Suchy.
WRG is basically the World Cup of roller sports; happening every 2 years in different major cities all across the globe. It features 10+ disciplines with over 4,000 athletes competing from over 80 countries.
This year, 2019, is the first year the World Roller Games included Downhill skateboarding as a discipline! With this announcement, every country had to delegate specific athletes to represent their country in Barcelona, Spain.
The USA created their first ever national downhill skateboarding team. I was granted the honor of becoming one of 6 women on the team. The overall team consists of 6 women, 6 men, and 3 lugers.
USA women's team! Left to right: Bottom: Ashley Winecoff, Me, coach Candy Dungar. Top: Teresa Gillcrist, Julia Barklow, CHAMP Emily Pross
The games took place in the Olympic stadium in Barcelona, Spain in the beginning of July. There was a perfect stretch of road with a steep grade that proved to be a fantastic race course.
Our sport had two contests: Time trials and race.
After a couple sessions of practice, qualification day came with some windy conditions. Everyone adjusted and gathered themselves to go as fast as physically possible down this designated road.
With 3/4 runs per person and the final runs dropping with minimal wind, the standings shifted greatly to reveal the top positions for the time trial.
After battling my mentality all day and sitting in the 14-16th place seeds, I gathered my self and pushed hard for a final run. It felt fast, but anything was possible knowing how tight the competition was. The feeling was justified, as I jumped to 10th place in the standings.
The next day was race day and everyone was anxious. The course itself would prove a proper race track where strategy, skill, and nerve would all come into play.
Honestly, I didn't have the highest expectations of myself for the day. The final corner after the finish line was the most hectic and dangerous part of the entire course. The difficult finish stuck in my mind as I had hit a concrete barrier on my first ever run down the track in that final corner. I was extremely worried come racing, knowing that everyone would be fully raging towards the finish line.
All the fear left my as I took off from the start line during my heats. I pushed as hard as I could and had tight battles with my competitors all the way to the finish.
I made it all the way to the semi finals and ended the day in 7th place overall!
Team USA walked home with the gold medal in Women's with Emily Pross dominating the women's category! All the USA women's competitors made it to at least the quarter finals in the race, and all ranked in the top 12 in the time trials!
What an awesome experience!
The next World Roller Games is in Argentina in 2021 and I hope to be there!