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From Monte Chingolo to Paris: the story of Mauro Iglesias, the Argentine skater who won his Olympic ticket

From Monte Chingolo to Paris: the story of Mauro Iglesias, the Argentine skater who won his Olympic ticket
From Monte Chingolo to Paris: the story of Mauro Iglesias, the Argentine skater who won his Olympic ticket

It was June 2015 when Mauro Iglesias He went to watch a tournament at Eh?Park, a well-known indoor track in Bernal. He wasn’t planning on competing, it was full of professionals and he, at 14, hadn’t yet dared to compete like that… “But there was just one competitor missing, one of the guys asked me if I wanted to join and I ended up winning the event”he recalls nine years later, now being part of the great history that has him as one of the first two Argentine skaters to achieve an Olympic ticket. “It was all crazy because a month later, I remember, DC Shoes, the company I had always dreamed of, came to look for me to hire me and I felt a click in my confidence and way of skating,” he recalls about that explosive beginning.

A dream that began almost accidentally in 2010, skating in his neighborhood. “I had always been interested in skateboarding, but I had never had one nor did I know how to do a trick. But one time I saw my cousin skating outside my house and I asked my parents for a skate for my birthday. They gave it to me, I started skating and I never stopped again. Until today,” she says, reviewing her story.

A passion that will take him to Paris in a month. From Monte Chingolo to the French capital, no less, after qualifying in the Street category in the qualifying tournament held in Budapest, Hungary. All despite missing part of last year due to a knee injury. But the kid from Lanús did it and will be one of the 22 who will compete in the second Olympic event for skateboarding.

“I think I still haven’t fallen, what I achieved and where I’m going to be. It’s all very recent. Little by little, I imagine, I am going to realize how special this is, representing the country in such an event.”, tells from Prague, Czech Republic, where he traveled from Hungary to continue competing. “My phone explodes. I received messages of all kinds, congratulations, for interviews, a little of everything. Even Chelo Weigandt, former Boca player, congratulated me. Everything makes me very proud,” he says.

He skate It has been exploding as an urban sport in the country, which is becoming a hotbed of talent, just like in other sports. The qualification of two Argentines for Paris – the other is Matías Dell Olio – is the new milestone for a sport that has seen more than 120 skateparks built in recent times, precisely the places needed for the national seedbed to sprout.

“That’s key. I started skating in Monte Chingolo, first outside my house, with a ramp and a small floor box that my dad had made for me, and a year later a very good skatepark was built ten blocks from my house that helped me a lot in my progress,” says the man who had his international breakthrough in 2022, when he went on a great tour that included first places in the Czech Republic, Portugal, and Spain, as well as being in the semifinals in three other tournaments.

In 2023 he had two milestones: first he performed a shocking jump – front side flip – on the stairs of the Faculty of Engineering that not even the top international professionals who came to the country could complete. A NBD (Never Been Done), as they say in one language, which generated a photon that went viral in the environment.

Then he ended up recording a video, together with a friend (filmmaker Tomás Scicchitano) and the brand that has sponsored him since he was 15, which ended up being requested – and published – by Thrasher Magazine, the most important in the world. DC Shoes precisely gave it a premiere in Abasto, during the party for Skate Day 2023 organized by the company. And this past Sunday, in another festive edition of World Day of this sport that DC held in Puerto Madero with 100 skaters, there was applause for Mauro, who hours before had gotten the Olympic ticket in Budapest.

As soon as he had secured his ticket, Iglesias put on Messi’s shirt, the one with the three stars, of course, creating a representative photo. “I did it because I’m a big fan of Leo, as well as of Maradona and Di María. I would love to meet them and for them to know my story,” he said until he was told that he might be able to meet one of the world champions during the meeting at the Olympic Village in Paris. “Wow, I would go crazy if I met one of them in the dining room. I would greet them and ask for a photo. I’m a big fan of football and of our National Team,” explained this Lanús fan.

Mauro has his dream for Paris, or rather, his goal, he explains. “Without a doubt, winning an Olympic medal”he admits while accepting that only now is skateboarding looking more favorably at competition and especially at this Olympic entry from Tokyo. “Our sport was always a street sport and nobody told you what to do, how to train or be professional. Today it is different, it has grown a lot and changed the vision of many by becoming an Olympic sport. Still, those who do not like the Olympics or competition can continue skating freely, something that I continue to do. Skating in the street and recording videos is the true essence of skateboarding,” he compares.

Today, of course, Mauro reached another level, to an unthinkable place. From Monte Chingolo to Paris. “Crazy, huh? Who would have imagined it? Neither would I, but it is clear that, with effort and sacrifice, everything is possible. As I always say, there is no reward for giving up.”.

Source: Ambito

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