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Team Extreme Interview – Rich Parker

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Rich is 23, and has been skating for nearly 14 years. He is the current UK no.1 halfpipe skater and lives in Glastonbury. Rich is the only UK halfpipe skater to have earned an ASA pro title and tricks include a flat spin 900, the incredible 1080 and just recently the 1260 (3 and a half rotations). Rich is determined to be one of the best and it reflects in his skating style which is powerful and exciting. With his best competitive year yet his 2010 results include: 5th at the Asian X Games, 3rd place at the EC pro tour in Rotterdam, 3rd in Mallorca, 3rd in Berlin and 1st at the Bulgarian stop as well as 3rd place in the World Leisure Games in South Korea. These results placed him second in the overall end of season rankings for the EC pro tour.

  • How often do you have to train to keep in shape and ensure that you are top of your game? I train everyday either on the ramp or in the gym with a rest day every 10 days or so.
  • What is your favourite trick? I enjoy spinning and flipping and going high, if I had to pick one trick as my favorite I would probably say my flatspin 900s.
  • Have you ever had a serious accident? In my first professional world championships I fell on my second trick and fractured my ribs and also needed stitches in my elbow. I’ve also had numerous concussions and also ligament damage.
  • When did you decide to take your hobby seriously and turn it into a profession? I always wanted to be a pro inline skater right from when I first discovered the sport with my brother. I sort of always knew that it would happen. I just had to work hard to make sure I was right!
  • What is your greatest achievement? This year I won a silver medal at the X-Games in Shanghai that was definitely a highlight.
  • Who are your role models/idols?  Muhammad Ali, if ever anyone needs inspiration, be it sporting or otherwise, there is no reason to look any further!
  • What’s the most ‘extreme’ thing you’ve ever done? Probably a double backflip on a vert ramp, or my 1260 rotations.
  • What first inspired you to get involved in your sport, and how old were you? My brother and I were on a family holiday to Germany when I was 10, some friends there had rollerblades. We had a go on theirs, had a lot of fun, and bought our own skates the very next day!
  • Did you have facilities nearby to practice? When starting I practiced everywhere just learning the basics, however when I chose to skate vert it became more difficult as vert halfpipes are few and far between. At first I used to travel 50 miles to practice, then that facility closed and my nearest ramp was then 130 miles from my home!
  • Do you think there are enough specialised facilities for those interested in extreme sports to learn and improve? There are a couple of little council skateparks springing up around the country, which are good for people starting out and learning the basics. As for more specialised facilities, there are only a few really good ones, which means a lot of people live far away from their nearest one and don’t get the opportunity to use them very often.
  • Do you have any lucky rituals you carry out before competing i’e a lucky mascot you carry, warm up technique? I don’t particularly have rituals before contests, I do get nervous and never really watch the other competitors so that I don’t feel added pressure if they have performed well.

Come along and meet the team – Rich will be performing at Westfield, London – 27th July. See you there.

For more information check out http://www.teamechewitsxtreme.co.uk/

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