Sergio Evans: The story of the deaf skater who broke down all the barriers

The story of Sergio Evans draws few comparisons. Despite having no family history, Sergio was born with very severe, practically total deafness. His parents then went on a search for the best possible alternatives (including speech therapists and all types of specialists). It was the beginning of the nineties and for Sergio and his family the start of a journey of years of therapy, struggle and sacrifice.

Sergio's parents’ dedication was unconditional which is why the young skater says with great emotion that he will always be grateful. In 1994, Evans' father would create, together with other parents in similar circumstances, the APADA foundation, which defends the interests of the hearing impaired and has been declared of public usefulness by the Ministry of Health.

Sergio first began therapy at only one year of age and has been undergoing it continuously ever since. So much effort has been rewarded in a story difficult to imagine. Lack of hearing hasn’t prevented Sergio Evans from becoming one of the best longboarders in Europe and much more importantly, has not prevented the young skater from "leading a completely normal life."

sergio evans skate

Evans discovered the longboard just five years ago; a friend from Madrid let him try his board at the Avilés campsite during the summer of 2012. He liked the feeling so much that within a few days Sergio bought his first longboard. He paid one part using all his small savings and the other thanks to his mother's financial support.

At the time there were people who thought that being deaf meant you didn’t have the skills to skate; however, Sergio has learned not to worry too much about the comments of others.  "Before I skated I played soccer and the truth is I went through a period where my teammates would make my life impossible." The dreaded shadow of bullying easily reaches the most vulnerable. Fortunately, Evans' parents spotted this difficult situation in time and were able to act. In this sense, Evans calls for the effort of all society to give the attention needed to avoid any kind of child abuse. A 'zero tolerance' attitude towards cases of bullying that unfortunately some groups are especially vulnerable to.

Sergio Evans Freestyle

Getting into the world of skateboarding was not exactly easy for Evans. There were more than a few people who tried to dissuade him, but as he himself clarifies "thanks to the education I have received I have never allowed others to decide what my own limits are."

Undoubtedly, hearing is very important in terms of balance, however, that handicap has not prevented Sergio Evans from being amongst the elite of the longboard world. For the young rider from Siroko it's simply a matter of "being more attentive than the rest and training a little more". For example, to warn of overtaking on downhill descents, competitors clap the protective metal sheets they use on the palms of their hands; a click that Evans cannot hear, "that's why I have to face each drop with extra attention and concentration."

Sergio Evans Downhill

Sergio Evans is a really open young man, very talkative and friendly. Thanks to his personal drive for overcoming obstacles, he manages to communicate with a normality that at first sight seems impressive. However, he makes no attempt to hide the added danger of his lack of hearing in longboarding. "When you are travelling downhill at 70 or 80 kilometers per hour on a skateboard any mistake can be very costly," he warns. His competition speed record is set at 92 kilometers per hour. Undoubtedly, these are more important words.

Evans' career highlights include the world longboard runner-up, conquered in Eindhoven (Netherlands) in 2015 in freestyle mode, one of the most spectacular modes in which short board tricks are combined with longboard maneuvers. Also worthy of note is a meritorious third place in the European Championship in Cadiz in 2016.

The young skater, who also practices other sports in which balance is fundamental (such as surfing), studied a carpentry module and although currently working in an aluminum factory linked to renewable energies in his native Asturias, his dream is to be able to live completely from skateboarding. "Skating is something I simply need, so I would like to establish a longboard school for all kinds of children and be able to transmit my passion," he says.

Sergio Evans Longboard

Although the Asturian rider does not want to be seen as a poster child, the truth is that the story of Sergio Evans serves as inspiration for many young people with similar difficulties.

"I like to share my vision of life: that you have to open yourself to the outside world and not be afraid." Sergio is aware of the important role his parents have played in facing obstacles, "I will always be grateful to them for teaching me to fight for what I believe in and for not setting me limits."

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