What a CX-Games final in Beijing By Pascal Morasse-Raymond
My own report on the 2012 CX-Games rollerblading finals:
Most of you know that I live in Shenzhen right now, one China’s most southern cities. On the first of November I headed to the Shenzhen airport ready for a great trip full of rollerblading and meeting new and old friends. Al trough I knew Beijing was kinda cold in November, your never ready for a change of temperature of 30 degrees to 0.
So I arrived at night at Beijing capital airport where my really good friend Da Zhuang (Eric, who is also judge for the contest) was waiting for me. We went to meet his girlfriend and than all sat around a good Chinese hot pot to get ourselves warm a bit.
The next day, after getting some sleep at Eric’s mom’s house, we headed to the skatepark at Beijing Olympic stadium (yea no kidding). The bird nest has a capicity of 80,000 people… of course we knew there wouldn’t be that much but that’s still pretty epic to have to the contest inside such a huge place.
So after getting in, I got my first look at the park and also was pretty happy to see Richie Eisler practicing. I knew he was in Thailand with Worapoj (Thailand rider aka: note) at this time but he wasn’t on the official rider list that I saw on internet. Anyway, I went all the way down to the course and skates on got up the tallest ramp. After cheering with my good friends Worapoj and his brother Norachai, they announced the beginning of the skateboarding contest and were asked to leave the park.
We met with the other guys in a tent to have some rest and some food. A little bit of chit-chat later we all took a cab direction the Beijing black market (Beijing zoo). So I was in cab with Richie Eisler and Boonnim Brothers followed by another cab with Dominic Wagner, Nils Jansons and Roman Abrate. Sad story is that we found out even black markets get to close… at 4:30. So that was pretty much fucked for the cheap shopping. It didn’t matter to much because I brought the guys to a restaurant where we enjoyed traditional Beijing food such as the Beijing duck and some other pretty good stuff as-well as beer.
That same night if I remember well, I followed the guys back to their hotel where we freshen ourselves up to go to the bar street (san li tun). So we got there (everyone but roman who has some personal reasons) at the same time as the rain started to poor hard… it was time for some beers I thought. We went to that little importation shop on the edge of the bar street and got us a beer of our choice. Done with this we went to this bar called “a little high” to get a little drunk and then a lot happier. It’s indeed what happened. We had a really great night with good discussions about rollerblading and life in general. It’s good to meet people that you understand and can share experiences.
The next day was all to shit when we woke up with rain and 3-4 degrees. We had a practice time that day so everyone headed to the park anyway. This was happened this day:
1- we waited 5-6 hours for nothing has their wouldn’t be any contest anyway that day with that rain
2- everyone got back to the hotel pretty pissed
3- everyone took a shower and we met down the hotel lobby.
4- My friend Michael was here that night (a Beijing local), he invited all of us for supper.
5- We went back to the bar street that night (Dominic, Richie, Michael and me) where we played pool.
6- Dominic Wagner doesn’t win at pool, he makes you loose. Richie and Michael played good but couldn’t really win anyways.
7- We got kinda drunk again… at “a little high”… again. Don’t play dice games with rollerbladers because it’s going to end up throwing stuff at the roof lamp. By stuff I mean, bottles, glasses, dice, Halloween masks and more.
8- How could that whole contest be worst than this? It snowed when we left the bar…
9- Eric couldn’t drive his car cause it’s a propulsion so we headed to Michael’s car instead.
The next day nobody thought there would be a contest. We had to go to the park anyway because Eric had some buisness to deal with at the bird nest. Surprised when we arrived, they were blowing the park and they said in couple minutes we could get ready to ride. The reality was that the park was still wet and almost frozen (2-3 degrees that day and some intense wind). But you in China… everything is possible… even if it’s stupid and doesn’t make any sense. So they decided to make us ride. There’s something I didn’t think of though… in shenzhen it’s usually over 30 degrees, even at this time of the year. So I had a left my skates inside Eric’s car… all night. Worst than that, my shoes had two holes in them (black market quality fuck yeaaa) and with all the rain and snow, my socks were soaked. I tried to put my skates on and soon realized it ain’t gonna work. I threw them away pretty pissed that they decided to make us ride in such shitty conditions but, I also understood that after inviting a lot of people to China they had to get a result to give them some money.
At this point the whole perspective of this contest changed. My friend up the third balcony called me on the microphone… I knew what he wanted trust me.
So there it was, in 5 minutes I was up there with this same microphone in Beijing Olympic stadium doing the MC job for the cx-games 2012 final. I think for a first time I did a decent job but it was nothing compared to what the guys did in the park. In such condition I would say it wasn’t human to be this good. We got Abrat doing his classical spinning and flipping choreography and then Richie Eisler finding some cool lines all alone with some stylish spins. More than that we had Dominic Wagner and Worapoj Boonnim showing how they master flowing and executing tricks at a crazy speed. Last but not least, we had Nils Jansons showing that he’s not looking for 2nd at the next Winterclash.
1- Roman Abrate
2- Dominic Wagner
3- Worapoj Boonnim
4- Nils Jansons
5- Richie Eisler
6- Zhang He Kai (Who qualified first for the chinese riders)
So even if the trip went nothing like I expected, it still was a pretty good ending and I was happy to see everyone chilling after the contest, happy about the results, happy that it was done.
PS: We even got a crowd, you can’t see it on the pictures it was right under me. Was great to feel the vibration when I asked them to cheer for the riders.
The next day back in Shenzhen and under the palm trees, I was all glad to take some rest.