No roller disco for us last night, but still a good amount of wildness. It all started with the first FISE party in a place located in a karaoke bar area. No karaoke for us, but there was a short concert of a nice singing lady. Well, at least the first couple of songs, since it quickly turned into an awkward party when two skateboarders jumped on stage, danced with her and took her mic to sing as well. Her boyfriend, who was standing in front of the stage as a proud supporter, turned into Mr. Superangry and we were only seconds away from the first fight. But luckily his friends had fun watching white guys on stage, so they held him back and after a while he just walked away and left his beautiful singing lady behind.
Text: Johannes Jacobi Photos: Dominik Wagner
So far so good, time to find a new place. I have no idea how we found it, but we ended up in a local club with only Chinese people dancing to the music of a skinny DJ lady. Most of the crowd definitely wasn’t familiar with foreigners, which meant we had to shake a lot of hands, take a lot of pictures, and get involved in conversations without one understanding the other even just a tiny bit.
At some point the DJ stopped playing and a pop star lookalike started singing. After every song the light went off and seconds later he appeared on a different spot in the club. During that procedure the army-like security guards were pushing people from one side to the other of the place to make sure the artist had enough space to perform.
While watching the show we were standing next to the bar and for some reason we must have looked like we weren’t enjoying ourselves because the barkeeper made us come closer and poured us three glasses of pure rum – for free. Happy birthday…
The next half an hour we fought with our drinks and watched the FISE riders take over the stage. Chinese men dancing hand in hand with BMXers, girls jumping up and down until they had to throw up and the army guys slowly getting nervous… At some point they decided that people were drunk enough and should focus on either dancing OR drinking. Drinks on the dance floor weren’t allowed anymore and they made sure people understood that. But they could be nice people too. When one guy took his shirt of they quickly showed up to help him put it on again. What a spectacle.
Time for a last visit to the toilet, including a massage while washing ours hands afterwards and off we went to the hotel. Enough for the second night!
Today, Friday, we had the pro qualifications and even though we were on quite early there were thousands of people waiting for the show already. It’s the first time the FISE is in China and people aren’t that used to extreme sports yet, so everyone was super excited. Doesn’t matter if a local rider tried to pull a 360 or if Roman Abrate did a Kangaroo Flip, they got behind every single rider and the atmosphere was amazing. My job as a speaker turned out to be surprisingly easy. I expected it to become a nightmare since no one understands English, but sign language is the key. When I raised my hands, they did the same, when we clapped, they clapped as well and so on. They definitely had fun and so did we.
Roman Abrate took the first place, Jeremy Suarez second and Domiik Wagner third. Definitely an entertaining qualification round and I’m already looking forward to the semi finals tomorrow. (Side note: Yes, Dominik can skate, party and make awesome photos all at the same time!)
After the blading part was over we watched a bit of the Mountain Bike qualifiers on that spectacular downhill course and later on we went to see the center of Chengdu, which is supposedly the center of China as well. High buildings, loads of light and even more smog: impressive, depressing, exciting and fascinating all at the same time.
Now we are back to the hotel and, surprise, we aren’t going out tonight. Too much partying so far, and it´s time for a good night of sleep in order to be fresh and ready for the semi finals. Thanks for checking back and see you tomorrow everyone!