This is my final blog post for the UNICON Italy 2012 trip. I want to thank everyone who helped me get to where I am today and for those who helped organize UNICON 2012. I’d like to thank all my family and friends for their support, the Thomas family for practically adding me to their family, and also the Pӧham’s for their kindness and hospitality towards me and Colby. I’m so grateful for all the amazing people I met at UNICON and I hope to see you all again!
In street I made it to the final 6 riders and then placed 4th after the finals. I’m super happy about it and I’m humbled to be among all these amazing riders. In flatland I advanced to the final 16 riders and placed 13th. I’m stoked about my results and I still see so much that I can excel at with unicycling.
Huge thanks to my sponsors for all the help they have been in supporting me. I had the opportunity to chat with Kris Holm for a bit and he is super nice and humble. There is no easier unicycle brand to represent than Kris Holm Unicycles because of the hard work that goes into producing each part. My co-sponsors Unicycle.com and Five Ten shoes have been so easy to work with as well. Five Ten Shoes don’t get near the credit they deserve. While other riders constantly hurt their feet on big tricks, my feet stay safe and happy because I ride with Five Ten Karvers. Personally I see no difference in flips and rolls when using the Karvers over Nike 6.0’s. Actually there is one difference; my feet don’t hurt after I’m done riding. Another easy brand to represent is Vooray clothing. Vooray has been a huge support for the last couple of years and I’m very grateful for it. Vooray is like Nutella, once someone tries it, they instantly love it.
Also shout out to my best friend Colby Thomas! I wouldn’t have picked anyone else to spend an entire month in Europe with. What a stud. Thanks for always being there for me bro. Also thanks to Colby’s mom, Holly Thomas, for planning our entire trip, she is the brains behind the operation! Thanks Holly! Colby and I couldn’t have done it without you!
The last few days of UNICON were spent chilling with all the bros. A group of us went to the local swimming center and had a blast! We filmed a bit and ate loads of pizza and gelato. The weather went a little sour the last few days so we couldn’t ride outside much. Eli Brill slept with us a couple of nights during the trip. Apparently it’s common for me to talk in my sleep.
On Friday the 31st of July 2012, Colby, 2 New Zealand riders, 4 Swedish riders, 2 Hungary riders, and I traveled to Austria to spend a week at the Pӧham’s house. The first night, Mrs. Pӧham had a candle lit dinner on the patio prepared. And then breakfast on the patio with everything from fresh fruit to yogurt and granola. She was amazing to us; she even washed our dirty, stinky laundry!
The first day we rode in the nearby city Innsbruck. Innsbruck is a beautiful city with some great street spots. We also rode in the Pӧham’s hometown of Oberhofen one of the days. It was really cool to see all the spots from the videos they make. I even got to ride in the Pӧham magic cellar and I landed 5 new tricks! Magic! And if that’s not magic, I was able to see all 3 Pӧham brothers kiss their girlfriends. Now that’s magical.
One of the days we went to a small village next to Oberhofen where they were having a parade and some shows. We rode in the parade; I got to ride a giraffe unicycle (5 foot tall unicycle). The parade was full of floats that had sculptures made entirely of flowers. There were also lots of authentic dressed Austrians and overall it was a very beautiful parade. Afterwards we performed a show with the Pӧham brothers! It was so sick, such an amazing experience!
On the final day Colby, Raphael, Elias and I woke up at 1:15 AM and hiked to a helicopter pad on top of the Alps! We got there in time for the most spectacular sunrise I’ve ever witnessed. Raphi filmed us all doing some tricks for the new video he’s making. I rarely say this but from the top of the mountain, looking over Austria, I would say it’s just as beautiful as Cache Valley, Utah. After we were done filming we hiked down to a mountain restaurant and had some really good pancake things with apple sauce. “An Austrian specialty” as Raphi would say. And if that wasn’t cool enough, we then continued to go swimming in a gorgeous lake with a dock, Island in the middle, and rope swing just like in the movies. I even got the opportunity to see a naked man fly off the rope swing into the refreshing water. I got the full European experience right there.
And now I’m on the airplane headed home. It flew by, just as I expected it would. Not the airplane but the trip. I loved every minute of it and I’m so humbled and grateful for the opportunity! I’m so grateful for all the new friendships I made. That’s one of the reasons I love unicycling so much is because of the people I get to interact with. Never in a million years did I think unicycling would take me to Europe and be able to meet people from all over the world. My next adventure is teaching the gospel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to the people of Merida, Mexico. Wish me luck! 🙂