MOSCOW: The number of people skateboarding in Moscow really seems to have surged. Some say its just a temporary 'fashion.' Part of the growth is driven by the expanding pedestrian zones and skateparks around the city that make it easier for people to take up the sport. Usually, you just see people skating at parks and other designated spots, but I recently saw three skating from one end of a metro platform to the other. This is a photo of Muscovite Katya, 14. She was in the metro with her longboard. Unlike many skateboarders I have met recently, Katya said has been skateboarding for several years.
Katya, 23, says she was destined to take up skateboarding.
Having been asked at least 100 times how she got into the male-dominated sport, Katya immediately responds that she was born on June 21, which happens to be ‘Go Skateboarding Day’, the sports official annual holiday.
She then adds that the English version of her name – Kate – along with the first initial of her family name – S – spells ‘skate.’
”I have tried everything – BMX, dancing, samba, snowboarding. But life led me to skateboarding.”
Ashot, 34 and of Armenian heritage, sticks out even in a big city like Moscow with his long curly hair and beard...''like Jesus'' as he put it. A devout vegan, Ashot was just a few exams away from finishing an economics degree at the prestigious Oil and Gas University in Moscow, something that could have led to a lucrative career. However, after six years of study, he didn't show up to take the last exams in the summer of 2001. He wanted to skateboard, something he had been doing since the late 1980s, when it was still a rarity in the Soviet Union. He gave up skateboarding shortly thereafter, working as a driver. Ashot returned to the sport again in 2012, doing jumps alongside kids half his age, because ''it is my true love.'' I asked him if he would finish those exams if he lived all over again. ''Probably not. I never wanted to study. It was my parents desire. I wanted to be a sportsman. I don't want a career where I am rushing around all the time. I just need enough money for food and travel.'' For more on Ashot, you can see his FB page here: https://m.facebook.com/vegsportfood