For the 13th daily installment of Big Wheel Blading’s Inline Skating and Life During COVID-19 series we talk to Pascal Briand. Pascal is a 43-year-old world champion inline speed skater living in Toulouse, France. He represented France in ice speed skating at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Currently Passcal produces content for his YouTube channel and is the speed skating product manager for Powerslide.

What are the current COVID-19 restrictions in France? Are you allowed to skate?

France is currently on a lockdown order similar to Italy and Spain. We have to stay in our homes, but are allowed to leave only to buy food or to get exercise. When you leave the house you need to carry documents, stating where you live and why you are outside your home, incase you get confronted by the Police .

Since you are allowed to leave your home to exercise, are you still skating?

The current rules in France allow us to exercise outside for up to 1 hour per day, but we must stay within 500 meters of our home. This doesn’t leave me any options to skate anywhere that I enjoy. The only skating I’m doing is in my dreams every night. I am taking COVID-19 serious and want to protect others who could be at a higher risk, so I’m staying home most of the time. For my allowed exercise I am only running 30 minutes and biking 40 minutes, both once a week. While in my home I’ve been trying to produce “SUPERLEG” videos for my YouTube channel, which has allowed me to do one more form of training. I’m also working on videos to share to share technical information. Next Saturday, I’m preparing a surprise video for everyone with Itay Drory.

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When was the last time you skated?

The last time I skated was over 3 weeks ago. I tried putting my skates on once to skate on a small parking lot in front of my house, but it was too small and I stopped after only 10 minutes.

What are you doing to fill your time?

Most of my time is spent working for Powerslide. But I also help skaters in different countries with their training programs, create content for my YouTube channel and am writing my 3rd book about my ice speed skating career. I’m also translating my 1st two books into English and Spanish. I am the kind of person who always has to stay active, so I am using my time to produce useful things for other people. My goal in life is to help people to skate better so it’s always great when I can produce more content.

How has COVID-19 affected your normal everyday life? 

The biggest change for me is being forced to stay at home, as I’m am used to spending a big part of my life traveling. I’m viewing this life change in a positive light, letting my body rest, which has been beneficial for my overall health.

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

I am worried about the economy and the future of the industry. I also hope people are doing more sports because of this and that they will be attracted to skating afterwards. This could give a needed push to our industry because currently times are hard.

How is your local skate community responding?

Everybody is training at home and staying safe. It’s a good opportunity for people to spend more time thinking, researching and looking at information online that they normally wouldn’t look at. It is the perfect time to be on YouTube studying skating techniques.

Do you have anything you’d like to add?

Stay safe… and get ready to buy new skates soon, so that we can all skate a lot when these crazy times are over. We all love to skate!

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