For the 45th daily installment of Big Wheel Blading’s Inline Skating and Life During COVID-19 series we talk to Juan David Leon. Juan is a 37-year-old inline skater and owner of Patines DLX skate shop who lives in Lima, Peru. Last year he skated 2,554 miles (4,110 km) to take 2nd place in Big Wheel Blading’s 2019 Big Wheel Challenge.

What is the current situation with COVID-19 in Peru?

Our president declared a state of emergency on March 6th, placing us under a stay-at-home order. We are only allowed to leave our home to buy food or go to the bank, everything else is closed. We have been living like this for almost two months now and the government has extended the stay-at-home order for another month. Although it’s tough, I feel that our government has made the right decisions at the this time.

Are you still skating?

Yes, I am skating a little bit but only when I have to go to the bank or supermarket. From my house to the closest supermarket is 3km (1.8 miles) and the closest bank is around 4.5km (2.7 miles), so twice a week I take my skates and have fun for an hour. Commuting on skates allows me to social distance. I don’t think I will be riding on a bus anytime soon and we are not able drive our cars without permission.

What would make you stop skating?

I don’t know, I might stop skating if i became sick.

Are you doing any cross training?

Just some push ups and stretching.

What other activities are you doing to occupy your time?

During this time I discovered I really like to cook and make desserts.

How has COVID-19 affected your normal everyday life?

It has changed everything! Since February I’ve been working with the Peruvian Skating Federation to select and prepare the Peruvian roller-freestyle (aggressive skating) team for FISE and the World Roller Games. With the stay-at-home order they are no longer able to train, which was happening three times a week for four hours a day at a bike park with huge ramps. On the positive side, people are realizing that skates are good for social distancing, which has been a benefit for my online skate shop.

What are your major concerns right now and looking into the future?

My main concerns are how this is going to effect our economy and how we are going to return to normal life. There are a lot of people in Peru, that at this point, are broke and their only chance of staying afloat is from the government’s economic stimulus package.

How is your local skate community responding?

All my blading buddies in Lima are self-isolating, but in other parts of Peru people are still living their lives like coronavirus is not happening and that’s why we are not flattening the curve.

Do you have anything you’d like to add?

Thank you Jan for this chance to share our experiences during this pandemic, stay safe, stay at home!


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