It is my pleasure to announce that by all appearances, Marcelo Gervasio Silva of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has unofficially broken my world record for the longest journey by skateboard. Apparently he started his journey in French Guiana on the 26th of January 2011, and has to this date skated over 23,000km around Brazil and Southern South America (Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile). Read on to find out how you could help Marcelo get the recognition he deserves.
Details about the journey are a little scant (mainly because I don’t understand Portuguese), but from what I’ve seen on his Facebook page, the journey has been epic, especially this past southern-hemisphere winter, as he skated through Uruguai, Argentina, and Chile.
(Photos via Marcelo on Facebook)
His documentation of the journey has been, however, by all appearances, immaculate. Photos of all kilometer markers he passes (https://www.facebook.com/marcelopedalverde/photos_stream), 200 hours plus of video footage, and plenty of diary entries. Some of his videos, including television interviews, are here: https://www.youtube.com/user/Marcelopedalverde?feature=watch
I’ve had a few emails back and forth between Marcelo and I, and he tells me that the journey has a couple of motivations. He says the journey is, first and foremost, in memory of his father, who passed away in 2004. While this is the biggest motivation, he also wants to see skateboarding be promoted as a healthy past-time for kids in Brazil. He is a passionate activist for getting kids off the streets and into life-affirming physical activity. And skateparks are a big part of this (he’s been a skateboarder since 1967). Along the way on his journey, he’s been meeting with politicians, and trying to raise the profile of skateboarding as a sport in Brazil. I really hope that the exposure he could get from his epic world-record-breaking journey will help with this.
When I said to Marcelo that he should apply to Guinness for the world record, he said that it is not so much for the record, but to honor his father that he is doing the journey. I have contacted Guinness myself anyway, and hopefully they will get onto “officializing” this journey. The process for applying for and validating a record is pretty daunting (http://14degrees.org/en/?page_id=715), but it looks like Marcelo should have enough evidence to make a claim. If you want to help Marcelo along in this respect, you could contact Guinness World Records yourself, and encourage them to follow up on this amazing journey. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will forward you on the contact details of a few people in Guinness in London who you can contact.
Apparently he is currently working on a book and a film about his journey. I look forward to seeing them!