Join me on the journey of unveiling the story behind BMX rider Santiago Laverde Gomez. Gomez, a Colombian National was born in the small town of Tulua, a city in the heart of Valle Del Cauca, Colombia. Spending the first 10 years of his life in a smaller town called Bugalagrande with his mother and sister, his mother decided to relocate for a better life for herself and her two small children. That moment was a pivotal moment for young Santiago.
When asked to describe the moment when he knew he wanted to become a rider he had this to say, “There were some guys who always rode bikes on the field after classes and I saw them doing some really cool stunts looking almost acrobatic, doing tricks like 180 or bar-spin, and I always saw that they had a lot of fun doing it; then and there was where I decided I wanted to practice the sport. I immediately went to my father to ask him for a bicycle, he told me that to give it to me he had to wait a couple of months. I remember going to see every day the guys riding the bike, always after classes after waiting to have my bike.”
At the age of 11 he was gifted with his first BMX bike, and that moment set his future in stone. Santiago views riding as his personal rite of passage, his escape from reality, his outlet for pain and his true happiness and his freedom. He’s untouchable when he rides, it’s more than just a sport for him- it’s his reality.
Of course, in light of BMX being an extreme sport, some don’t see BMX as anything more than a hobby for the young daredevils to partake in just to pass the time. BMX became a fruitful endeavour for Santiago. He disclosed his first opportunity in the form of sponsorship from a local company by the name of TWINBMX. He started working with the brand at the age of 18.
In order to fully take on BMX in its full sphere, Santiago ended up travelling a lot. Of course Amberation curious to know where does Santiago find time for other interests. Currently riding is all there is for him hobby wise. Santiago learns all his life lessons just from mounting his bike.
Santiago has always viewed BMX as his lifestyle. In every sense of the word. Its his personal learning curve. Albeit it was a bit difficult at first, but it has allowed him to not only explore his home land but little slices of other countries. With each trip he learnt something new that he could apply to his everyday living. Nothing short of magical.
With every pastime in life there will always be a stand out moment, for instance, Santiago highlighted his most memorable experience to be that of the Simplesession2019, a project with TWINBMX. “It was a long time ago; we planned it with much anticipation. We travelled from Colombia to Estonia– the country where the event was taking place; it was a very difficult journey. Despite that it was the best experience by far. I was introduced to all the professional BMX riders that I had only see in videos. I conversed with them, rode with them, celebrated with them. It was definitely a dream come true for me, getting to know the city and learning a bit of their culture; It was something that really changed my life.”
Santiago wants to enjoy his youth and allow thing things to flow. He is just allowing life to carry him one ride at a time from destination to destination.
My mother always told me to do good regardless of who is watching.