Author Archives: Pablo Marin

May The Fourth Be With You: The Jedi Robe Shop

As May the 4th approaches, many are getting ready to commemorate Star Wars Day. Even though your first instinct is to hit the online world for your costume you can still grab a Stormtrooper outfit at Jedi Robe in Northolt, London. The shop, which is currently celebrating its 10 year anniversary is dedicated to all things Stra Wars with full-sized outfits, lightsabres and memorabilia.

Check the Jedi Robe Star Wars Shop at:

The Music Industry for Young Adults

In the next interview, young adults share their different opinions on the music industry in relation to their musical background. The participants in this piece, represent really diverse music profiles, going from music press magazine with Clara Leira in “Mondo Sonoro”, to Music Business Management students such as María Jáñez. The mix of perspectives in this video gives a complete and coherent vision of what youngsters have to say about the music industry. In this interview, María and Clara share their tips in order to help individuals who are willing to start a music career.

Check their work here:

Mondo Sonoro

María Jañez’s blog

Are Skateboarders Happy with the Olympics?

As you can read in the piece of information above, on the interview with Larry King, Tony Hawk spoke in favour of skateboarding in the Olympics, even though his discipline, vert ramp, which consist on a half-pipe, it is not currently included in the Olympic programme.

But Hawk is not the only one that has spoken its mind about this topic. Nyjah Huston, Nike sponsored professional skateboarder who won several of the stops in the Street League from the year 2011 to 2019, stated on a Forbes interview that: “Now, everyone is working on getting [skateboarding] in the Olympics for 2020, which I hope happens. I want to see more kids out there getting good at skating, having fun with skating. It’s growing so much and people realize you can make a living off of skateboarding”.

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KTown cruisin

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On his side, we can find more skaters who share the same view. This is the case of Evan Smith. Professional rider for DC shoes who also competes in the Street League, explained on the Grey Skate Magazine that: “I think it’s cool. I mean what would you do if someone asked you to go to the fucking Olympics and you felt like you could do it? You’d probably say yes. You’d probably push yourself, if you were smart”.

On the other hand, there are also prominent skaters that have a different vision about skateboarding in the Olympics. For instance, Tristan Funkhouser, a young professional skater for DC Shoes, who explained on a video for Ollie Shit that: “It is not natural. I personally don’t think it would be cool. That’s not what skating is, skating is an expression of yourself. You can’t just put points on that”.

Another professional skater which is against the Olympics but for different reasons is Boo Johnson. The Diamond Footwear skateboarder said on an interview for that: “If they ask me to go to the Olympics I wouldn’t men, like, they are definitely drug testing and you know me. So… that’s not gonna happen”.

The last statement shows a different perspective in the world of skateboarding, drugs. Drugs have always been linked to the skateboarding community. This affirmation can be checked on the Mockmouth article in which they talk about skateboarding legends having troubles with drug addiction.

Another example which connects skateboarding with the consumption of drugs is the case of Pedro Barros. The professional skateboarder chosen for the Brazilian Olympic team, went through a drug test in 2018. According to the ABDC (Autoridade Brasileira Controle de Dopagem), the authority in charge of anti-doping in Brazil, the results of this test confirmed that Barros consumed THC (Marihuana).

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Talking about national Olympic teams, Brazil together with Norway are the only ones that have released their official lists. The Scandinavian nation has chosen a humbler team with skaters who are unknown for the skating community. Except for one of them, Karsten Kleppan, who rides for Nike and has participated in the Street League and also in the X Games in 2016 and 2018 respectively.

On the Brazilian side, apart from Barros, which could be disqualified for the 2020 Olympics, Brazil has other big names such as: Luan Oliveira, Felipe Gustavo and Tiago Lemos, skating for Nike, Adidas and DC Shoes respectively. On the female category they have one of the biggest stars, Leticia Bufoni who skates for Nike. All these Brazilians currently skate on the Street League, so it could be said that Brazil is going to be a big opponent to defeat.

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CBSK ANUNCIA SELEÇÃO BRASILEIRA DE SKATE PARK E STREET DE 2018 Um outro passo inédito foi dado pela Confederação Brasileira de Skate – CBSK para fortalecer e dar ainda mais representatividade ao Skate brasileiro como esporte olímpico. Bob Burnquist, um dos maiores ícones do Skate mundial e atual Presidente da Confederação, anunciou junto com Sandro Dias, outro grande nome mundial do esporte e atual Diretor da CBSK, a formação da 1a Seleção Brasileira de Skate nas modalidades olímpicas Park e Street. A formação Em 2018, os nomes dos atletas que integrarão a Seleção Brasileira de Skate Park e Street, foram escolhidos através de um comitê técnico. A partir de agora, a convocação é anual e a partir de 2019, a Seleção será sempre formada através do Calendário Brasileiro de Skate da CBSK do ano anterior, onde os 3 primeiros skatistas do ranking estarão automaticamente convocados. Além disso, a CBSK, através do seu comitê técnico, indicará o atleta para a vaga restante. O suporte A CBSK dará aos atletas integrantes da Seleção Brasileira, suporte e recursos para o desenvolvimento e aperfeiçoamento da prática do skate de alto rendimento. Ajuda financeira, recursos humanos, departamento médico exclusivo, centros de treinamento, viagens e participações em eventos internacionais, estão entre as ações de suporte ao desenvolvimento esportivo dos atletas da Seleção Brasileira de Skate. A estréia O Skate será um dos esportes estreantes em Olimpíadas, mas o planejamento da CBSK é que o skate brasileiro tenha um desempenho parecido com o dos esportes tradicionais, lutando por algumas medalhas, já na 1a participação. É com esse foco na preparação dos atletas, que a CBSK pretende seguir rumo ao projeto olímpico de Toquio em 2020. @timebrasil #somostodosCBSK #somosselecaoCBSK #timebrasil @bobburnquist @diassandro

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Marcelo Lusardi: The Blind Rider

It is 11:40 in the UK, 12:40 in Spain. Marcelo sends me a message, he is ready. A couple of minutes after that, I receive a phone call from him. He starts talking to me in Spanish in a kind way, as if talking to a close friend.

Then, we change into English and we continue with the conversation. Marcelo tells me about his childhood. He was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1997. In 2003, when he was five years old, his family moved to Santiago de Compostela, in the North West of Spain. After that, he describes his childhood in a curious way: “I’ve been all my life having sight, like absolutely normal sight. Watching everything, skating, seeing everything around me…”

Marcelo begins speaking about the event that changed his life for ever. In June 2015, when he was 17, he started losing sight in his right eye. At that point, doctors did not know what was going on, even Marcelo was not aware of his own condition: “It was a pretty confusing month for me, because I didn’t know what was happening”. By November, he began to lose his vision in his left eye.

Marcelo keeps talking about his state and how doctors did not think he was going to be blind: “They told me my optical nerves were affected by a virus, but they didn’t know at all. It was just like a thought of them.”

After a brief pause, Marcelo tells me about his genetic disease: Leber hereditary optic neuropathy. This gene transfers from generation to generation, but it only affects men. The disease stars in one eye and then moves to the other “and then it gets worse”. He also explains that there are different cases: some people with this disease have a good percentage of sight and they are, somehow, able to read, but Marcelo’s situation is different:

He continues describing his life and how in April of 2016 it started getting worse: “I was in my house, pretty depressed”. After that, he cheers himself up by talking about something that is really important in his life, music. He used to play the guitar before getting blind, but he put more effort into it when he began losing his sight: “I started playing sad songs and that stuff” he laughs “I don’t know, it is really cool to play music being blind and feel the sound”

But Marcelo was not alone in his battle. He describes the unconditional support of his parents and his skating friends, and how one day his mother introduced him to a blind friend of hers who changed Marcelo’s standpoint: “Blind people can do everything, they can go to school, use computers, mobile phones, everything like, really normal. And I don’t know, I guess that pushed me to go outside and be happy again.”

Next, he talks me through how he started skating again. Marcelo, with the help of his white cane, decided to go to the plaza where he used to skate, but without his skateboard. He describes how his friends pushed him to get on his board and how it was like “starting from the beginning”.

He also explains that his friends helped him to learn new tricks, like the kickflip, and how he could have not done it without them, because he could not know if the board was flipping on the right direction: “It was really fun to learn with them around me and supporting me.”

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Rondita en congreso… filmed by #blindpower

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Marcelo, also known as the “Blind Rider” on Instagram, with a following of over 50,000 users, tackles the social media topic from a humble perspective: “skateboarding has also supported me a lot with people from around the world that follow me and like my videos”

The “Blind Rider” continues by defining how being blind has changed his perspective in life: “Well, being blind maybe it’s like something bad at first, but it can give you a different point of view” says Marcelo laughing. He finishes by explaining the way in which he meets people now, which has changed completely, as he pays more attention to personality now: “that’s pretty cool actually, not focusing on the physical appearance”

The phone call ends like it started, talking in Spanish while laughing, as Marcelo comments how weird it was for two Spanish speakers to maintain a conversation in English.