How an immigrant from the USSR became a Washington legend and dresses American youth
Today Tatiana Kolina is a true legend for Washington skateboarders. However, this was not always the case. She told about her life path to the publication Voice of America.
Tatiana's childhood and adolescence were spent in Leningrad. Soviet teenagers in the late 1970s and early 1980s were largely unaware of the skateboarding culture that was then becoming popular among their American peers.
Tanya was no exception, and her knowledge of the Western world began with fartsovka.
“I met two boys on the street in St. Petersburg. We began to communicate all together. We met with foreigners, usually from the USA, and exchanged culture. They gave us magazines, music tapes, - Tatiana recalls. "So they started to introduce us to the west."
Tanya never thought about immigration, everything happened by chance. In 1991, she came to California at the invitation of an American family. Then she graduated from the University of Noty-Dam. In the USA, she took up skateboarding seriously, which surprisingly reminded her of her youth on the Leningrad streets.
“At that time I started to earn money by trading. What I was doing was reckless, interesting, but also dangerous. We were constantly pressed, the Russian mafia was involved. They caught up with us, took everything away, we had to pay all the money, - Tatyana recalls. - When I came here, I got acquainted with skateboarding. They had a similar story. The police also ran after them, people did not like them ”.
Tatiana's daughter from childhood also began to show interest in this sport.
“We went to the park, there was another girl and the rest were boys. But the girls did not dare to ride the board, because they felt uncomfortable, and then I had the idea to start an organization for girls - Skate Girls Try, - Tatyana recalls. "I thought that if there are many girls there, everyone will gather and help each other."
Following the creation of the organization, other ideas emerged. Tatiana started to create street style clothes, founded her own brand - SpacyCloud. Then there was a permanent location in Washington, DC - a clothing and skateboarding equipment store and a vegetarian Eastern European restaurant.
There is both an art gallery and a ramp behind the backyard; concerts are held, DJs of all ages perform.
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“Skateboarding is a lot of fun. This is part of my life. My whole family is doing this. And being a DJ is just another fun activity that I also really enjoy, ”says 8-year-old DJ and skateboarder Julia McRaken.
Free skateboarding lessons for beginners are held in the evenings.
“The culture of skateboarding for me is a way to get rid of stress, this is what makes me happy,” explains Dolores Cruz. "I hope to share with the other girls the happiness I found in skateboarding."
This summer, skateboarding was introduced to the Tokyo Summer Olympics for the first time, and a wave of new customers flooded SpacyCloud. Especially girls inspired by newly minted Olympic stars.
“Since the sport was included in the Summer Olympics, a lot more girls have taken up the sport. There is a real explosion in skateboarding culture among all ages, ”says SpacyCloud employee Maddy.
Tatiana's organization was selected by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to participate in the Culture Cocus special program. As part of this program, Tatiana holds her events at the center.
“I have a heart for this. Skateboarders are very independent, but as a community they are very close-knit. Many do not have parents, some live on the street, but they help each other a lot, and I also want to do something for them, "Tatiana sums up.
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