Project – Colombia

I am Gracia Sotomayor, and although I come from Peru, I lived for a short period
in Colombia before moving to Germany. When I thought about the idea of taking
artistic cycling to south-America I always thought about Peru and Colombia,
both countries as a first step. Now I am looking for allies in South America to
make the project more concrete, the situation is becoming more and more
complicated given COVID-19.

Well then, a few weeks ago I saw on Instagram a profile of a Colombian man
doing some tricks on his bike. Immediately I decided to contact him and tell him
about my project. I introduced myself and asked this person if he would be
interested. It was a nice surprise when he agreed. His name is Juan Felipe
Santamaría, he is known in the urban cyclist world in Colombia, he started to
learn artistic cycling about 20 years ago, just by watching videos online. In this
time he was able to master some figures like Raiser head tube and Saddle
handlebarstand. He built his artistic bike with the materials and the knowledge
on building bikes that he had. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the chance to go
further with the sport. He used what he knew and focused on the performance
side of artistic cycling and, developed himself also in the juggling art.

I had a video call with him. I wanted to share everything that I already learned,
explain the project and, the things that are needed (kids, bikes, a hall), and I
wanted also to explain what motivates me to take the sport to South America in
an official way. He started to feel excited: “This sport has been my dream for
more than 20 years. Suddenly you come, contact me and give me all the tools
that I never had. It is amazing. I never thought this would ever happen.”

The next steps are still being defined according to the situation. Ideally, he would
come to the International Coach education, which will take place in July, and
gather all the information necessary to be a coach and produce bikes in South
America. We are doing a lot of research on the legal side and the requirements
to have an official club in Colombia, and how are we going to be able to finance
the project. The good thing is that Colombia is a strong country on cycling sport,
not like Peru, so we can see a lot of opportunities. And if it is not possible for
him to come to Germany for the International Coach education, we will be
sending bikes so kids can start training in Bogota, Colombia already this year.

It is crazy how this story started and is developing, the steps are short but full of
hope. And the right persons are coming along in the way to make it real.

Gracia Sotomayor
– Project partner of Peru and Colombia

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