Today in three weeks the 19th World Championchips, UNICON 19, in Ansan, South Korea, will start.
Korea Republic – what a spectacular location for central-European Unicyclists!
When we heard of the desicion for this asian country at the last World Championchips in the basque San Sebastian two years ago, uncountable opposing thoughts and feelings swirred through my head: the critical political situation there, the chance to make wonderful experiences in a for us so very exotic country, the problem of transporting the anormous amount of equipment, the thrill of anticipation, seeing all our friends that live in the whole world, the notion of experiencing World Championchips in the very warm and tiring Monsoon rain, the question, which sanitary precautions would have to be made, and many more thoughts.
We can still see the future hosts handing out flags, stickers and baloons in the social area in San Sebastian, with smiling faces of anticipation to the convention in their homeland. After Tokio 1987 and 2004, this world`s biggest Unicycling Event only takes place in an asian country for the third time in history, although, most of all in Japan and Korea, unicycling is valued very high and gets much more public attention than it gets in Germany and many other countries all around the globe. Taking that into account, it is just Korea Republic´s turn to be host, to be honest. But this appreciative and surely understandable desicion doesn`t make the whole trip easier for us.
Some worries have been erased over the last two years, or are at least a little less present:
The rapprochement of the two opposing korean states, that was completely unimaginable last year, eliminates many concerns before the departure. Whether you can trust the very fragile peace in the long term remains in question, but the agreement in at least the short term of the Misters Kim and Moon reassures us a great deal. And the fact, that Mr Trump met with the north korean ruler in Singapore on the 12th of June, relaxes the situation even further.
The problem of the transport remains – politics or no. We are not completely unexperienced when it comes to storing and transporting higher amounts of unicycles and related material by plane, as already in 2014 all the unicycles had to be brought over the ocean to Montreal. But in the four years since then, many a thing has changed and developed. New disciplines have been added, the technical equipment was specialised and expanded. While for the UNICON 17 there were nine unicycles to be packed for the flight, now there are 16 that want to be brought.
Our little five-person travel-group will consist of four active competitors – Henriette, Konstantin and Michael Höhne, and Belinda Bebst – and a Non-Competitor – the autor of this article. Most of all Henriette with her multi-layered ambitions needs a multitude of adaptable unicycles, although she, too, has to accept restraints, as the best imaginable form of unicycles cannot be brought even with utmost efforts. So comprimises are just unavoidable. And of course Konstantin and Belinda are looking forward to capturing this exotic country on photos and films, and also for that, the material has to be stowed.
Right now I am watching the Rainfalls at the time in Korea, a little tense. For weeks it has been hot and damp there. Over 30 degrees at a for us unimaginable humidity – that will be an enourmous challenge for competitors from climatic more comfortable parts of the Earth.
As much interesting are my fellow people`s reactions, when I tell them of our hot destination. On various occasions I have been catching myself to carefully choose the people I tell of this intention, as I am not intent on seeing a face of horror on many of my comtemporaries anymore, who probably have had enough of such a travelling dastination after two weeks of Jesolo. And when I am asked, I watch myself defending competeing in this event anyway, although I am far from convinced by the location. But what was the gist of the words that a later german Olympic Champion said before the Olympic Winter Games in February 2018 in Pyeonchang, Korea Republic: The Location has been officially set up, and if you want to compete, you have to go there. That`s it.
So by any accounts, some extraordinary experiences are awaiting us. As never before, the Blog Entries will be most individually influenced by the person it is written by, and will not contain everyone`s opinion, as our expactations and the related thrills and worries are somewhat different.
Also will we try to privide english versions of the texts for the first time. The translation will be made by Henriette, as far as the strict timetable in Ansan will allow it for her.
In the next entry there will be special information about our travelling destination.
translated by Henriette Höhne