Words: Kate Chandler
Images: Svetlana Romantsova
Meet Mikaili Sol, winner of SuperKite Brazil and reigning Freestyle World Champion!
This week we have part two of Meet the Champions, it’s time to chat with SuperKite Brazil winner Mikaili Sol – as our current Freestyle World Champion Mika is no stranger to post-competition interviews, here we catch up with her to hear how she felt after taking the win in the women’s division at the only Freestyle event of 2020 in Brazil, and to find to out how life has been for her in the months preceding the event.
2020 has been quite unexpected for all of us. Mika, how have you been this year with less travel in your diary, and were you looking forward to the SuperKite event when you found out that it would go ahead?
I was really looking forward to 2020 after my 2019 win I was all for going for it and doing my best throughout the year with competitions but when COVID hit I found it really hard, I had to change my mindset which was used to travelling and being in different locations every month, to one of being stuck at home and unable to leave. It wasn’t easy but that made the SuperKite event even more enjoyable, to getting back to the feeling of competing and getting ready for action.
You normally train throughout the year, how much did covid-19 affect your training plans or training schedule in the months running up to the event?
I was in the Dominican Republic for what was supposed to be two weeks of pre-competition training but when the news of the pandemic reached us, we cut the trip short, and ended up only staying two days! When we got back home I was really sad because I’d been looking forward to the first comp of the year. I found myself in a place where I felt quite unmotivated, I was just at home doing schoolwork, not really training and not really kiting. I was working out a little but I wasn’t that focused.
Considering you’ve not been training as much as you usually do you did well to take the win. How do you feel about your performance at Ilha do Guajiru?
I’m proud of myself for my performance at the SuperKite event because the conditions during the first women’s heats were not that easy, it was super strong wind, super choppy, hard to pop and hard to do any tricks. So after I passed through that heat it gave me the lift I needed to do well throughout the rest of the event, and it was pretty much good from then on. I got to the semi-finals and then into the final where I won, which I am super thankful for!
We know you are very much part of the kite and competition scene. How did it feel to be amongst your International kite friends/family after so long apart, or have you managed to train with fellow competitors this year?
It was really hard to be without my friends this year because almost all of them are on the World Tour or have something to do with the kiting world and not being able to see them was super hard, because I’m so used to being with them, training, having fun together, so it was really difficult. It was great seeing everyone again at the event, catching up and hearing how everyone has been dealing with the pandemic in their own lives. It was so great that we ended up having the competition in Brazil, it just made it seem even more special.
That was so good to hear, it was a special event for so many reasons!
Now that you can compete again, what are your goals for 2021 both on and off the water?
My goal for 2021, of course, is to do really well in the comps, hopefully, win and get the world champion title again. But that all depends on what happens with the global situation, we still don’t know if everything is going to be ok or if countries are going to start shutting down again, and we’ll have to go into isolation again but hopefully in 2021 things will be better and we will get some sort of normality back to our lives.
We hope so too!
What were the highlights of the Superkite event both on and off the water?
For me, the highlight of the SuperKite event was just getting back into the spirit of competition, having fun, seeing everyone again after so long and also trying to get all my tricks, and of course, doing my best! Off the water, it was so great to see everyone again, I mean the vibe was just so great, everyone was stoked for comp and everyone was just so excited to be at a competition after not having one until the second last month of 2020, so everything was just really amazing!
It’s great to hear you enjoyed it so much!
You also won the GKA Distance Battle this summer, how did you find digital competing to actual competitions?
I think the distance Battle was what everyone needed, without having any competitions for most of the year, the Distance Battle really lifted everyone’s spirits, brought us together again and gave us hope that there would be a competition later in the year. I think I wasn’t really kiting that much before the Distnace Battle, I only started kiting maybe like two weeks before, because there hadn’t been that much wind and I was focused on studying. Then when the GKA announced the Distance Battle was on I started up my training schedule again and I was really motivated to kite again.
Thanks Mika! Congratulations on your win at SuperKite Brazil and your previous win at the GKA Distance Battle earlier this year, it’s great to hear that the online competition helped keep you motivated to train, and perhaps helped you take the win in Guajiru too. We wish you the best of luck for the coming year and hope you have a great Christmas with your family and friends.