In the spring of 2022, Gracia Sotomayor and Angelika Wirth carried out a measure of about one week in the Peruvian capital Lima to promote and teach artistic cycling. Jorge “Koko” Nazario was one of their first “students”. A year later, Koko came to Europe with the support of ICWW and completed an intensive program: He wanted to familiarize himself with the manufacture of artistic bicycles, train under European conditions and ultimately compete at the World Championships in Glasgow as the first Peruvian artistic cyclist in the single men category.
The first stop after arriving in Germany took Koko to Gau-Algesheim. He met the ICWW mechanic Hermann Schön and was spontaneously allowed to train for two days in the cycling hall of the RSV Gau-Algesheim. Until that time Koko had practiced artistic cycling only on the road. In Gau-Algesheim he trained for the first time in a hall on a flat floor.
After the opening weekend, the Peruvian World Championship team – Koko and Gracia – moved on to Offenburg. The idea behind this is to try to produce bicycles in Latin America. Helmut Walther took three days. Gracia interpreted until her head was spinning. The experience was really enriching, despite the language barrier.
Koko’s feedback speaks volumes: “It was an incredible three days, during which Helmut Walter took the time to explain in detail how each part of the Artistic Cycling was made, in addition to teaching me about the high quality standards. There was also an opportunity to talk to him about my experience making bike parts in South America and the possibility of making them with local materials for Artistic Cycling.” The gap between the production of bicycles in South America and Germany is still very large; first and foremost, there is a lack of suitable materials in South America or they are prohibitively expensive. But the first step has been taken, now there is knowledge to aim for big goals.
What Koko liked most was Helmut Walther’s extraordinary willingness to help: “I am very grateful that he opened the doors of his workshop to me and passed on the information from so many years of experience. Excellence, quality, technology and passion!” With these words, Koko summed up his time in Offenburg.
ICWW says many thanks to Helmut Walther for this extraordinary support.
From Offenburg, the Peruvian team traveled to Schopfheim and prepared for the World Championships in Glasgow under the guidance of ICWW patron Angelika Wirth. This is another chapter of the “Latin America” artistic cycling success story …
Stefan Born and Gracia Sotomayor