Interview with Georgia Bontorin
Georgia Bontorin is a 15 years old girl from Curitiba, Brazil. Everything is normal about Georgia, a teenager studying to get into college, but against all odds Georgia is now the fastest grom, winning veteran riders at Snake Skeleton and Teutonia race last year.
Marisa Nuñez had the pleasure to ask her some questions, from rider to rider. Check them out
When did you start riding, and was is a street skateboard or a longboard that you got initiated with?
I started riding in late 2009, and went straight to the longboard.
Did you have any inspirations that pulled you into this gnarly world of downhill skateboarding?
My first inspiration was my team, CWBOMBS, then over time other people I admired were appearing, as Katie Neilson, Dalua, Caco Ratos, among others …
By your age you should still going to school? How do you balance up your studies with skateboarding?
Yes, I’m going to school, next year is my last year in secondary school. It is a little hard to take good notes in school because of the championships I do miss a lot in school, but as the school principal knows that I am an athlete, she and I always come to an understanding.
What do your parents think about you skating at maximum speeds on a piece of wood and 4 wheels? Are they supportive?
At first my mom did not like it even though back then I rode slowly, I would always come back home all bruised and with torn clothes. She did not like one bit that I practiced the sport, she even threw my skateboard in the trash while I was in school. But when I got home, no one picked up the garbage hahaha. But after I went to my first tournament, she saw that it was exactly what I wanted, and now she lets me go anywhere for me to skate.
What about the traveling part, are they comfortable with you traveling to all these far away places with a bunch of skaters?
Yes, my cousin usually accompanies me on trip, so she does not worry so much. When I went to Argentina, I was more nervous than her.
Tell me about the downhill skateboarding scene in Curitiba and in all Brazil. Are there a lot of girls into it?
The female skate scene in Brazil is gradually growing, always appearing new faces, with new riders all over. Today, in Curitiba, we have the highest number of practitioners that go for Downhill championships in Brazil. I am very happy with the evolution of several girls. On holidays, me and my girlfriends we’re doing a kind of exchange, for girls from other states to come spend a few days in Curitiba, they say they want to come skate Curitiba and the girls now want to come for championships. We are with the idea of making a video, showing a little about each state and we’ll all travel together.
Are you dating somebody? If so, does he skate with you?
I have a boyfriend, and he lives in another state, Sao Paulo, he was into another form of skateboarding when I met him, and then I taught him to ride a longboard, and he learned so fast hahaha.
Any funny story about you that you want to share?
There is, it happened this year, it started in Argentina, since then I have been betting with my friend Kermit Mice that I will not win the championship, and he bet that I’ll win, and I always lose! I haven’t yet paid any of the three bets we did. We bet a dinner in Argentina, and I lost the bet and won the championship in Teutonia. If he wins I have to get him a wine and chocolate, if I won I just lost the bet and won the championship. Now in the last Brazilian circuit, we bet a dessert, and I lost the bet and won the championship again, finally I owe a dinner, wine and a dessert for Caco Rats. But of course, I’d rather lose the bet and win the championship hahaha.
Is there anything that you do to prepare yourself for a race?
I basically workout and skate only on Saturdays. Before every championship I pray for protection and happiness, no matter if I win or not.
What is your typical board set up? Did you change it to race Teutonia?
My skateboard is the Drop Speed shape with Bear trucks, bushings Venom, Seismic Wheels, Bearings Bear. In Teutonia, just put some harder bushings, and tightened a bit the trucks.
When I met you in Argentina, you seemed very excited about competing and confident in your abilities. What are your aspirations in this sport, do you plan on taking it up as a profession?
My goal ins’t to skate professionally. I won’t be able to afford a private college, thus I’ll have to study hard to pass on a public college. I really want to go to college and have a profession, and leave the skate only as a hobby.
How did it feel to compete and win against some of the top girls of the world with such a big age difference?
I’m already a little used to the age thing. In any category I never think of my age. But it was a huge surprise to win the world champion Rebekka, that was something I did not expect, first because she is much bigger than I am, and second, because she has great experience. I was very surprised to beat her.
From girl skater to girl skater. Tell me, how do you see the difference in competition between the boys and the girls? Do you feel like you are totally capable of being as good as the guys and compete with them or would you prefer to stay in the women’s category?
Last year my category did not exist in Brazil so I had to race against boys, and even though, I ranked 29 among more than 100 boys, so I was very happy. I train with boys, so in my head I have to race like a boy. Next year it will be even more difficult as I will be competing on a professional level with them. I think it is not impossible to race against boys, just needs a little more dedication.
What competitions are you planning on 2013, and how will you balance this out with school?
2013 will be the hardest, as I’ll have to study full time for college and yet I want to go run races in Canada, so do not know what I’ll do, how I’m going to manage it. I don’t even know if the school principal would tell me if tell her that I want to go for those races. I might as well repeat some classes and do them again in 2014, but I’m still wondering how I’m going to do-
What would your advise to someone that is starting with DH?
Always wear safety gear, be smart, and then be brave and dare yourself