Unicycling Championships

Dear friends!

It’s been a while since our last post, but the news of Hanna’s engagement was a hard act to follow news-wise. Nevertheless, our lives have been rolling forward since then, with each adventure crazier than the previous one.  The biggest adventure for me (Lea) since my last post, took place in a little sleepy Swiss city (by our measurements, village) not far from Zurich. One of our good childhood friends, Gergo Wettstein, was competing at the European Unicycling Competitions, and we were going to cheer him on. It was a whole 3 day competition with over 800 competitors throughout the days.

There were a plethora of different competitions such as speed, high jump (the world record was broken by Martin Sjönneby, now it’s 132 cm high) flat, street, hockey, etc. Gergo’s specialty is flat, which is perhaps one of the most beautiful and awe inspiring competitions. Each competitor has a set amount of time and a flat gymnasium floor in which they must impress the judges. Here is a video of Gergo on YouTube with a sample of some of the tricks he did (here’s one from a few years ago). Absolutely incredible!

Martin Sjönneby breaking his own world record in high jump
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European Champion!

We held our breath as he kept making it past each elimination round until it was time for the final 2 to fight it out for the title of European Champion. After a spectacular performance by both contenders, which must have been very hard for the judges to judge, Gergo was declared the winner, European champion!

After celebrating, we heard that the Street competition was just about to start. Now the Street category is one where contestants are designated an area of the street, with preferably a variety of “obstacles”, such as steps, statues, walls, sculptures, etc., and they are given time in each area to impress the judges. Watching everybody warming up, an idea came to me. What if I borrowed Gergo’s unicycle and competed? I asked the race director, and after a second of thought, to my surprise, he agreed! So I had half an hour before the race, to brush up on my dormant unicycle knowledge, and learn as many new tricks as I could. I tucked a couple new tricks under my belt, and borrowing Gergo’s unicycle and helmet, I headed into the race in the women and juniors category. We had time for around 6 tricks in each area of the street, which was my biggest challenge, as I didn’t even know 6 tricks in total. But nonetheless it was an absolutely thrilling experience to have the all the champions cheering you on from the sidelines!

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In competition

Then came the senior boy’s category, and wow, was there a difference! Most of the tricks they performed did not seem humanly possible in my eyes. They jumped down and up onto garbage bins, pedaled along precariously thin rails, and twisted, spun in the air, completely defying gravity.

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Gergo competing in Street

The race finished and we headed back to the party tent in attendance of the results ceremony. After listening to a number of speeches by the mayor of the town, president of the organization, etc. the time came to announce the winners of the street competition. 6th place, 5th, and 4th were announced, and we stopped paying attention. Then came 3rd place, and to our surprise, Gergo was announced as bronze medalist! I ran up behind him to take photos of him on the podium, and was positioning myself to capture the best shots, when they announced: “And in second place, representing Hungary, we have Lea Janossy!” It turned out that they had put the females and the males in different categories, and since there were only two girls, I was in last place as the silver medalist! It was an incredible moment to share the European Championship podium for a minute with Gergo!

A photo shoot in a car that had been destroyed by and for the competition followed suite, in celebration of these two wins: one very well-deserved, and one completely by a fluke chance. Enjoy!

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Gold and Bronze

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Last and Silver

Bis nachste mal!

Lea

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