This year has been insane ‘contest season’ wise, if you can still speak about a season. It started in Rio de Janeiro in January and the season ended in September. It also started again in October again in Russia, but hey.
Sao Paulo was insane, at first we heard we were skating the World Championships in Mexico City, I asked my coach Suzanne to join me for that contest. After a lot of back and forth emailing and messaging the World Championships were in Sao Paulo, Brasil. Brasil is awesome for having a skateboard contest, the crowds are insane, people love skateboarding and are insanely passionate.
We flew out on the 15th of September and my first practice started at the 19th, for me 5 days of not skateboarding drives me crazy especially approaching a big contest such as the World Championships. Luckily Suzanne kept me sane and we found some rad skateparks in Sao Paulo.
The 20th it was go time and the qualification started. I qualified in second through to the semifinals together with my fellow Dutch Lionesses Roos Zwetsloot (3rd) and Keet Oldenbeuving (7th). The excitement and nervousness did definitely not drop after that.
The day after it was go time again, when I get nervous I struggle with eatin so my main focus was to get enough sleep en just eat enough where I would still have some energy left. Semi-finals day I woke up at 5 in the morning, I struggled during the contest, fell on tricks where I normally don’t fall and lost my composure for a second. Manny Santiago showed up at the perfect time and told me it wasn’t over until it’s over. I qualifed into the finals with my last trick in the 6th spot.
After a little celebration it was time to focus again, living on papaya’s, some coconut juice and some white rice was starting to get to me but it was time for finals day! During practice I overskated, got stuck on tricks and hurt my foot. All the things I planned on exactly not doing. My confidence got lost somewhere along the practice but just like Manny said it ain’t over until it’s over and at that point it hadn’t even started.
Suzanne was like a beacon, she was at the spot where we agreed she would be at and was pure focus. Exactly like I needed. My first run didn’t go as planned but I recovered and got a solid score after my second run. I had a plan and I stuck to the plan. On my last trick I was in 4th position. I knew I needed something big if I wanted to make it to the top 3. I made a deal with Sewa Kroetkov and Douwe Macare who are in the Dutch team too that if I would do a fs tailslide on the square gap to rail I would get 100€, it seemed like the perfect moment to do it.
I rolled up to the rail a few times, tapped it with my board while I got ready to set up, I was all in. This was all or nothing right here. I roll up to the rail, full confidence, pop my board and lock exactly how I should lock at that point my brain goes blank and I kick away my board. I ended up in 4th at the World Championships.
It took me a minute to appreciate this contest for what it was but it was an amazing experience and definitely made me grow!