The return trip from Pamplona to his native Nigeria of Courage Adams, the genius of urban BMX



Already in the world lite, the cyclist raised in Spain returns to his country of birth to rediscover himself. Despite having the papers for four years, still waiting for the Spanish passport to compete in the X Games.

Courage Adams, in Lagos, in a scene from 'Encouraged'

There is a moment in the documentary Encouraged, premiered by Red Bull last January, in which the protagonist, Courage Adams, one of the best BMX street cyclists in the world, tells Lagos cyclists to look for money to build the first skate park in Nigeria and everyone looks at him as if he were promising the Moon because, in reality, he is promising the Moon. Adams was born about 300 kilometers from the Nigerian capital, in the city of Benin, but at the age of five, his family emigrated to Pamplona and the documentary portrays his first return to his native country and how the trip changes his life . Obviously the tape is a concatenation of impossible pranks, jumps on the footrests and crazy handlebar movements, but that's the least of it. The interesting thing is to see how the carefreeness of a young European who goes down the street jumping and doing tricks with his tiny bicycle suddenly becomes anxious about the future of those who try to do the same wherever he was born.

In Lagos I realized what I really want to do: living for oneself does not make sense, it only makes sense to live to help others. I felt very helpless to see that the guys who do BMX in Lagos don't have many opportunities. I was at home, they told me about their jobs, about the basic needs that they fail to cover and I was shocked. The bicycle gives them a happiness that I cannot express, says Adams, whose connection with the cyclists of his country of origin was born on Instagram: three years ago they wrote him a private message and since then he sends them clothes and spare parts periodically. The documentary shows how they receive it with a party when they arrive and give themselves to their tricks and their words.

Waiting for the X Games

They adore him and the feeling is reciprocal. Somehow, that relationship with his countrymen and the return to Nigeria means for Adams, 22, an impulse on the road to a stardom that is currently only touching. Unknown to the great public, in his specialty he has hundreds of thousands of followers around the world thanks to his victories in European competitions such as the FISE de Montpellier, the Pro Freestyle in The Hague, the O'Marisquillo de Vigo or the Battle of British Hastings But he has a problem to go to ms: his passport.

The top on BMX street, a sport that consists of doing tricks on a circuit that imitates street furniture, is in the X Games, the X Games are held in the United States and the United States does not grant visas easily. Adams now lives in Madrid with a residence permit and has been entitled to nationalization for four years, but the bureaucracy is slow, very slow, and his career is stagnant.

If he had received the papers in recent years, he could even have chosen to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in the new freestyle BMX mode, similar to his own, but there was no way. He even asked for a nationalization by nature letter that did not even reach the Council of Ministers: his specialty was too new, too minority. The truth is that I spent a time during which I had trouble doing it. It was very hard emotionally. They kept inviting me to competitions in the United States, where my sport has many fans, and I had to refuse them all. The trip to Nigeria helped me a lot in that. Whether or not the passport arrives, try to push forward and help anyone who can, says who discovered the taste for the bicycle at 10 years with a Monty through the streets of Pamplona and who now, after returning to the roots, has rediscovered to it.

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