INterview #17: Grażyna Wratny

Grażyna Wratny is the top female blader in Poland and Europe as well. If we had a „Skater of the year” awards here in Poland somehow, I would pick Grażyna without any hesitation. The girl made a name for herself in such short period of time that it wasn’t surprise to plug her to the Hedonskate team this year. Placing on the podium during last Lausanne contest, followed by winning the title of Polish Rolling League Champ in Girls division, appearances on TV shows, WheelScene #1 mag interview and what’s crucial – constant skating progress – it was definitively busy year for Grażyna.

Last weekend she visited hometown of Hedonskate – Katowice to chill a little bit and skate the new opened skate plaza – PTG. I snatched the opportunity and asked Graża few questions for this interview.

Let`s start with basics:

1. Tell us something about yourself, something that you have never told during any interview – quick characteristic of Grażyna Wratny that we don`t know?
Grażyna prefers Full Torqs rather than Royales, Topsouls rather than souls, skis rather than snowboard, French language over English, coffee over tea and most important – doing anything rather than just sitting in boredom.

2. What`s your current setup and why?
Right now I`m skating Remz Haffeys 2.1 with some Create Original frames and Street Artist wheels. It seems that Remz skates fit be the best right now and I just can’t imagine skating anything else. On the contrary I switch wheels and frames all the time, just trying out different stuff that is currently out.

3. Surely 2011 was a good year for You, opportunities popped out everywhere, what was the most important thing you have achieved this season?

Indeed, it was a good year for me. I spent some time in France in 2010 where I studied, and it definitely “refreshed” my skating. When I came back to Poland at the beginning of 2011 I thought it would be a good time to push my blading passion into another level. Also Hedonskate offered me a place in their team at that time so I was juiced even more – I think it has been the most important thing that happened to me in 2011 so far.  

4. You were featured in some TV shows regarding talented, gifted girls, with skating clips all over them – do you think such exposure has some impact on the girl skating scene here in Poland? Are you happy that more girls are trying their luck with rollerblading?

I don’t know if TV coverage with rollerblading has any impact on our “scene” yet if it turns out that at least one girl will start skating seriously after watching that show – I assume it was worth it. I want blading to be not as dominated by men as it is right now. Skating together with other girls gives me the feeling that I’m not an outcast in this sport. So unquestionably YES – I`m super happy that we have more and more girls in rollerblading!

5. What can you say about the PRL (Polish Rolling League)? Did it help to re-organize blading events in our country, is it a good way to go?

PRL (Polish Rolling League) is something completely new in polish events: a series of contests with different rating (according to presence of skaters), four different divisions (Masters, Senior, Junior, Girls) with official connection to PZSW (Polish Association of Rollerblading Sports) and big prizes!  It gives everybody the great opportunity to compete on a fair level, people are collecting league points and compare it with others. What’s cool about it is the fact that more people are taking it seriously and trying to be present on every contest, making them really big each time - just like in the “old days” when extreme sports events attracted soo much people. Of course not everybody likes the idea, but I guess it’s enough to have an easy approach and you can have so much fun during those contests..For sure it  looks 100% more professional for the random audience and in the same time will greatly speed up the development of the sport in our country.  

6. Some time ago you teamed with some girls from all over Poland and filmed a nice edit showing your skills and motivation. The feedback it received was promising. Will we see the continuation next year?
The idea of showcasing the female balding scene from Poland was in my head for a long time. However the lack of equipment and the fact almost all of us live in different cities prolonged it many times. But finally the edit was finished and as You said it kind of worked out well. I hope we will make a new one in 2012, so you can see even more girls coming out and check how we progressed since the previous edit. Eventually I would like to make it annual thing!

7. Now, with PRL league is finished for this season, do you still have some plans for the end o the year connected with skating?
It’s true – the PRL is over and the Autumn came, so skating in Poland can be difficult, so I came up with the idea of leaving Poland for this rainy time. At the beginning of November I’m going to visit Forward Freestyle skatepark in Belgium and from there to Lisbon and Paris where also I’ll focus on skating!!

8. What can we expect from Grażyna in 2012? Do you have any plans skating-wise?   

I will try to attended every contest in Poland and also the most important ones in Europe, starting with Winterclash. Next I would like to film a street-only profile – if only I will be juiced so much as this year this won’t be a problem!