The French rollerblading scene brings photos and stories from this year’s Lyon Roller Open. We hear from participant Javi Garrido, judge Précilia Verdier, organizer Homere Kalampalikis, and MC Baptiste Urbain.
Our Staff Photographer Clément Barbaza spent the weekend documenting it for this feature and presenting his first photo exhibition to much acclaim. (We’re proud of you homie!)
Lyon Open was the first French competition I’ve participated in. After a month of non-stop rain in Barcelona, I saw on Instagram that the Lyon Open Contest was happening at an indoor skatepark in Lyon. I didn’t think twice about signing up. I coordinated with my friends Amandine Condroyer from France, Maxime Genoud from Switzerland, and Nicolás Salazar from Chile. I took an overnight bus from Barcelona and spent a few days getting away from the weather.
When I arrived at the skatepark, I was impressed the most by seeing so many new generations of skaters, many new girls competing, a fair number of them flipping. It has been a pleasure to share that moment with everyone – flowing with the tricks, sharing the energy that skating gives us with each trick, getting to know so many new faces.
The event not only consisted of the competition, it also included a photo exhibition by French photographer Clément Barbaza, an opening party, and a closing party for the contest. There was a tradeshow with products from blade brands. Events like this where culture, art, and skater meet helps to keep our sport alive. Creating content of all the riders fuels our motivation as skaters and amplifies the impact of our sport.
I was impressed with the city of Lyon, the food, the people and the street spots. I will definitely be returning!
What a pleasure to see all the generations around the same passion! The Lyon Roller Open event succeeded in keeping the atmosphere fun and friendly around the competition. Although the task of judging was not easy, we had a great team supported by top volunteers that we thank greatly!
The photo exhibition gave a cultural touch to this passion which is a way of life for us all. It was a moment to see our friends again after such lengths of time away. It was so nice to see them grow up, build their lives, their projects. I left with a smile and positive outlook for the future of our sport.
Congratulations to Homer and all his team. Lyon remains the emblematic city for rollerblading IMO.
Hey! My name is Homere Kalampalikis. I am the organizer of LyonRollerOpen 6 as well as a competitor. Mixing the two was not easy! It was the first time I organized a competition. There’s a lot to do! Even if it tired me working on it, it was a great experience and gives me ideas on what I can do next time.
Riders from all over France and even from surrounding countries came to see us! Like others have commented, we had plenty of people registered in the small categories, both girls and boys, men and women of all ages. Seeing them riding like that makes me think the future is bright for our sport.
We had so much positive feedback from attendees. I can’t wait for the event to grow and for pros from other countries come out to Lyons to see us too! We’ll see you all next year!
Since the start of the pandemic, I have only able to attend/participate to 2-3 contests (mainly organized by the FISE). This left me a bit perplexed, not to say worried… the impossibility of opening the u14/u17 categories because of lack of participants, skate parks were half empty except for the usuals meeting friends. Rollerblading was already not doing very well, but a pandemic is what nearly finished us off? (At least that’s how it felt.)
Thanks to Homère Kalampalikis for asking me to be the MC of the LRO6 — a first for me. I didn’t expect to find 33 amateur riders on the list of participants and 15 in the younger categories. Even more surprising — I counted 27 bladies in total, 3 open categories for girls, and an absolutely exceptional level in the U14. (Is it due to the policy changes within the French Rollerblading Federation of opening of a pro category with the same prize money as the men? A question for another article). I can’t wait to see the new recruits in a few years!
I would not have wanted to be in the place of the judges (that’s why I prefer the microphone), because we had to witness a ton of hammers from the pros. As usual, Mr. Cudot was discreet on the trainings, but after his first line, we all knew what place he will occupy on the podium!