With a record-breaking 82 participants, the Red Bull Manny Mania Colombian representative was chosen last Sunday in Medellin.
On Sunday, in the second biggest city of Colombia, Medellin, the Parque de los Deseos (Park of the wishes) was turned into a massive skatepark that granted 20-year-old Jose David Velez his wish to represent his country in the Red Bull Manny Mania World Final in New York in August.
It was an action packed afternoon. Before 1,500 spectators, the 82 participants from all over the South American country gave it their all, showing off their technical skills on two wheels. “These skaters have been practicing for months. Some of them only jump stairs, but since they found out that the Red Bull Manny Mania would be coming back for the third time, they only train manuals, sometimes for hours every day,” noted James Arias, a well-known representative of the sport in Colombia.
Medellin local, 20-year-old Jose David Velez, was named the winner after impressing the judges with his consistency, the level of difficulty of his tricks and talent for manuals. The podium was completed with Camilo Melo (2º) and Santiago Echevarria (3º), both 16 years-old. “I’m always skating. Today was one of those fun days, there are some better than others, and today was one of those days that I landed every trick. I’m going to New York to have fun, I wish all the participants could go, they all deserve it,” shared the excited winner after receiving his trophy.
The judges, Red Bull athlete Milton Martínez, Guillermo “Bat” Vascones, two-time winner of the contest in Peru, and one of Colombia’s skateboarding pioneers, Mauricio “Cabe” Mejia, evaluated the participants for their style, speed, creativity and, of course, skills. “The event was great! The skateboarding here is excelent,” noted Martínez.
Now Velez will face the other Red Bull Manny Mania national winners in New York in August, hoping ot be crowned the world champion of manuals of 2012.