Big Wheel Blading’s COVID-19 Coverage

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every skater in the world in some way. In this new series, Inline Skating and Life During COVID-19, we will be checking in with various inline skaters from around the globe to see how the pandemic has affected their life. This is only one part of our COVID-19 coverage, which includes editorials, interviews with skaters who are deemed essential workers and an in depth report of what long term affects the pandemic will have on our sport and industry. Also check out the series, Essential Workers, Inline Skaters on the Front Lines of COVID-19, where we talk to inline skaters from around the world who are considered Essential Workers. If you’d like to contribute an editorial piece or have any comments or suggestions you can email janericwelch@bigwheelblading.com.


Nicola Torelli is a 27-year-old inline skater and Emergency Room nurse living in London, England.


What is the current situation with COVID-19 in the United Kingdom?

Here in UK the government still allows people to go out for one form of exercise a day alone or with members of the household. We’ll see if this will change in the upcoming days.

Are you still skating? If so what precautions are you taking to stay safe?

Yeah I’m still skating alone or with my flat mate, but obviously we keep our sessions very chilled and take some extra precautions to not end up in incidents, where injuries would require hospitalization, by avoiding bolder moves or spots. On and off the skates I maintain a security distance from other people and take standard hygiene precautions.

What and where are you skating? 

These days I’m actually living the dream from the skating point of view… The streets of London are completely empty and the sun has been shining outside for the last few days. This is a very unusual scenario and everyone who does a free ride sport is probably experiencing a magical time right now.

Make sure to follow Nicola on Instagram to watch more awesome freeskate clips.
What would make you stop skating? 

If the government decides to prohibit forms of outdoor exercise.

What other activities are you doing to occupy your time? 

I do work as a nurse in Emergency department so I’m living through the current problem on the frontline. All the hospital staff is obviously under a lot more stress and pressure given by the difficulties of the circumstances that also keep evolving on a daily basis. It’s vital for us to look after our wellbeing and health to make sure we can go to work and stay strong. That’s why exercising is so important… Drink plenty of water, eat well and keep up the positive flow.

How has COVID-19 affected your normal everyday life? 

I still go to work and skate so for now it’s more about not being able to see other people and travel abroad. All my family lives in Italy so we won’t see each other for a while but we make sure to keep in touch everyday.

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

It’s a very surreal time. Most of my concerns are on how these “lockdown” and self-isolation scenarios have an impact on the life of people who were already going through difficulties with family relationships, their job or the absence of job and especially for those affected by mental illness.  

How is the skate community in London responding?

All weekly group rides are suspended but I believe many individuals are still going out to skate alone or in pairs. Most people seem to comply very well with the social distancing here in London.

Do you have anything you’d like to add?

I would like to encourage people who are wasting face masks in situations where they’re clearly not necessary, like for example skating outdoor alone or wearing it alone in your room just to flex on Instagram, to stop this and take some minutes to think about for instance hospitals where masks are not enough for the needs of the staff and patient. I send my best wishes to all the skate community and I’m sure we’ll come back stronger than before.

Nicola downhilling in Barcelona with Danny Aldridge and Jack Tierney

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Jan Welch

Founder and creator of bigwheelblading.com

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