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.


Olga Nikolenko is a 30-year-old inline skater, video editor and animation specialist living in Kiev, Ukraine.


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

Ukraine has banned public gatherings of over two people, placed restrictions on public transit and require us to wear face masks in public at all times. We are prohibited from visiting parks and sports fields, while all schools, restaurants, cafes, entertainment and fitness centers are closed.

The threat is real, but some people here underestimate the severity of COVID-19 and still have picnics in the park. We are supposed to work from homes if we are able. I no longer go visit my friends and wear a protective mask when I leave the house to go to the supermarket.

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

I have been skating some ledges close to my house with my friend Tanya. I carry hand sanitizer with me everywhere I go and avoid touching my face.

Would anything make you stop skating?

If I was limited in where I could go skate, then I would probably stop skating because I would get too bored with the same spots.

Are you doing any cross training? 

Always! I do special exercises and meditation techniques for my spine and to support my general health.

What other activities are you doing to occupy your time? 

I have been working on several video editing projects, attending vocal lessons and retouching photographs.

How has COVID-19 affected your normal everyday life? 

COVID-19 has kept my away from my friends who I spent so much time with before the pandemic. I am using this time to rest, learn new things and take care of my family.

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

After the pandemic is over, many of us might face financial ruin. I don’t think there is anything I can do to change that. I’m just loving the life I have now and doing my best to stay happy and healthy.

How has your skate community been responding to the restrictions?

The community has mostly been self-isolating but still gets together for a rare sessions here and there.


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Jan Welch

Founder and creator of bigwheelblading.com

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