A young Latvian man, amateur winner of the BMX category in Montpellier, Ernests Zebolds, has shared with us his way of thinking before, during, and after the competition, and also how the sport affects his social life and school.
Hey Ernest! Can you tell us a little bit about the beginning of your BMX career?
Hey! I started my BMX career when I was 10 years old. The reason why I started was because of my classmates, who invited me to join them in one of the skateparks. I didn’t start with BMX though, I rode mountain bike at first. A year passed when my mom and dad bought me my first BMX, and it was then when I started to ride daily, trying to learn a new trick every day. The first trick I mastered was no hand, hahaha.
How does it feel to win FISE and be a part of its junior team? What’s your favourite part of the competition?
Winning FISE was incredible, but unexpected. When the first round came, I did not realize all the tricks I imagined, but I managed to perform them all in the second round. I remember the words that were buzzing around in my head: “What is wrong with you? Calm down, Ernest! Give it all you’ve got in the second round.” The best part off the competition were the crowd and the riders who were really friendly. They came up to me and asked me where I was from, to which I replied I was from Latvia. Surprised, they asked where Latvia was, and I answered that it was really far from here, about four thousand kilometers far, haha! Laughingly, they asked me if I just rode to FISE, to which I replied excitingly, saying it was the best competition in world!
How do you feel when you’re flying through the air? Have you got any problems while performing your tricks so far?
There are no words to describe that feeling, I simply love being in the air. My favorite trick is 360 no hand, and my favorite rider is Kevin Peraza, because he’s not a trick machine like the rest of nowadays riders.
Where did the love for BMX take you? Which countries, cities?
The love for BMX took me to a lot of countries where I was able to perform a lot of tricks in the air, including some new ones, and all of it resulted in girls coming up to me, asking for pictures. The craziest thing happened a week ago, though, when I won the FISE World Series: Amateur BMX.
With which crew you travel with?
I travel with the Rave Team crew.
Aside from BMX, what other sports do you find appealing?
Basketball for sure. I just love to play with my friends in the evening, hang out with them and rest a bit from the riding.
How do you manage your time between school and the love for BMX?
I firstly do all of my homework. Then I hop on my bike and go for a ride.
Is BMX helping you with the ladies?
I believe so. When I’m riding to the contest, a lot of girls are checking me out, hahaha. I also get a lot of new Instagram followers after each competition, and most of them are girls.
What did you think of Pannonian?
The Pannonian Challenge was awesome, especially the park and the course. There was also this loud, large crowd. I simply love this contest.
Do you have some other competitions in plan this year?
My summer is booked, hehe: there’s an upcoming festival in my homeland, Latvia, called Mad Liepaja, and after that I’m off to Estonia’s Viljandi Bash where I came up eighth in the last year’s finals. My final stop is the FISE one in Osijek, Croatia.