“I just knew I was gonna figure this out.”
The internal monologue of Canadian skateboarder Matt Berger at the age of “eight or nine” was among hope that a person day he’d have a profession doing what he liked.
“I remember thinking… I have to do this,” Berger informed Daily Hive in an interview.
It’s safe to state he’s figured it out.
Berger’s greatest phase yet comes at next month’s Tokyo Olympics, where the 29-year-old will be among 3 professional athletes representing Canada in the skateboarding competitors, along with Andy Anderson and Micky Papa. Berger and Papa will be contending in the street occasion, with Anderson using the maple leaf in the park occasion.
Berger’s youth has to do with what you’d anticipate from a skater maturing in the 1990s: checking out publications, playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater computer game, and striking up his regional skatepark in Kamloops after being talented a board by his granny at Christmas when he was 4.
After sharpening his abilities on his moms and dads’ yard concrete patio area, competitors and costs hours every day at the park ended up being the standard for the BC local.
“I genuinely was just so obsessed and passionate from such a young age,” Berger stated. “I watched all these videos of other pros travelling around the world skateboarding and making a living. I didn’t care about anything else. [I thought] if I just keep going, it’s almost like a naïve belief that you’re going to have a career.”
School wasn’t precisely Berger’s preferred method to invest his days.
“My teachers were constantly trying to talk to my parents to get me on Ritalin,” Berger stated. “I couldn’t pay attention to anything in class. But as soon as it came down to skateboarding, I was locked in, I was hyper focused, and I skated for hours.”
That internal drive has actually pressed Berger to his existing number-one rank amongst Canadian skaters in street, and a 10th-place ranking globally to certify him for the Olympics.
Olympic dreams, however, aren’t what the majority of, or truly, any, skaters generally want. The occasion is making its launching at this year’s Olympics after a couple of years of lobbying from different groups.
“The Olympics was never on my radar, because that was never an option. It never was a path of success to me,” Berger stated.
Berger completed fifth in the 2019 X Games street competitors in Norway, while ending up 3rd in the very best technique competitors at the 2019 X Games occasion in Minneapolis.
Success is never ever an ensured thing for any professional athlete, particularly a Canadian skater maturing in a city handling winter season temperature levels for the much better part of 4 or 5 months each year.
Berger detailed the different problems he’s handled, consisting of a set of knee injuries, an absence of indoor parks in Canada, and an improperly built park in Kamloops that he referred to as “one of the worst in the world” prior to its restoration in the mid 2000s.
But after entering his very first competitors in Kamloops at the age of 8, it’s been complete speed ahead since.
“I was so infatuated with skateboarding and so passionate about it and I just wanted to try everything,” he included.
The development of the arranging body Canada Skateboard in 2016 has actually assisted professional athletes like Berger to attain their dreams. Berger stated Canada Skateboard’s greatest impact has actually been aiding with financing and medical treatments in a manner that was formerly normally left for skaters to find out by themselves.
“Hopefully people see the value in what we do,” Berger stated. “Then, in turn, we get more support to do what we do for ourselves and for future generations.”
Cheerios’ Cheer cards effort, of which Berger belongs, is one method for fans to support a unique Olympic Games without worldwide viewers.
“The reason why I have a career is because of fans, it’s because of everyone behind what I do,” Berger stated. “We’re still going to give it our ‘A’ game whether or not the fans are there. It’s not like every day on the board at the skate park we have a bunch of fans waiting for us. Hopefully the fans are able to support in different ways.”
Canadian advocates are motivated to reveal assistance through sending out postcards to Olympic professional athletes like Berger that can be eliminated of Cheerios cereal boxes.
As for his day-to-day schedule over the next couple of weeks as he preps for Tokyo, it’s going to be a great deal of what Berger’s currently utilized to doing: striking up the skatepark, doing some yoga to unwind his muscles, and spending quality time at the beach with his buddies.
“It really is just rinse and repeat,” Berger stated. “It’ll be weekly working on different things going into it, and making sure we’re feeling the best we can on our board going into Tokyo.”