By Paula Osorio
P. Osorio is a skate culture lover and a full-time writer for SHIT®️ Magazine.
The Grind for Life organization is preparing for the final leg of the series, the final event and the annual awards. Mike Rogers joined forces with Marinela to present this tournament to his faithful audience for the benefit of cancer patients. This is the story of the foundation and the protocols that you should keep in mind if you’re planning to participate in the competition.
How the Project was Created
Mike Rogers was diagnosed with aortic sarcoma at the early age of 12 after a tumor was removed from the back of his right eye. As a kid, his skateboarding career was just getting started and he had to stop everything while he faced a very tough fight against cancer. Mikey underwent eighteen rounds of chemotherapy and thirty rounds of radiation in order to try and save his life from the horrors of the disease that claims the lives of millions of people around the world every year.
Seven years after this surgery and the first treatment, the scans showed that Mike was finally cancer-free and that he was able to return to his normal life: school, his friends, surfing, and the thing he missed the most, skateboarding competitions. The last 7 years placed his life in perspective, he knew that he was a really strong boy, he survived cancer and was still participating in skateboarding contests beating the best pro skaters with just one eye. He worked, he won and he was tougher than ever before.
However, 2003 arrived with some shitty news. Mikey started to have a runny nose and after a series of medical exams, a specialist said that the symptoms were showing that the tumor was back 25 years after his remission. The biopsy revealed that it was the same kind of cancer that he had when he was a kid. Mikey consulted one of the best medical centers but the doctors’ words were not encouraging. They said that with surgery, they would be able to save his life but they were not sure about the quality of life that he was going to have after that. There was a high probability that he would never skate again.
With great anxiety, Mikey underwent a 17-hour procedure to remove the tumor, and the results were amazingly positive. His incredible strength helped him again to survive cancer for the second time, and he could not be more grateful to life and the doctors that helped save him. He learned to not take things for granted, and since then, he has always been willing to support cancer patients with their treatments to make sure they receive guidance throughout this harsh process. That was the reason why he created Grind for Life Inc., an organization that assists cancer patients with travel expenses. A part of the Grind for Life series’ profits go to this.
Format and Guidelines
The Grind for Life series is a national contest where skaters of all ages and skills can show their tricks in both street and bowl categories. The series has taken place since 2014, and during this year only, they’ve already set up 7 similar events in St. Petersburg, New Smyrna, Zephyrhills, Lakeland, Houston, Fort Lauderdale, and Cocoa Beach.
The last stop for this event in 2020 will be on December 12 at The Boardr, 4611 North Hale Avenue, in Tampa, FL, and those who are interested in competing will have to register on https://gflseries.com/ - by selecting the desired category and paying an entry fee of $35USD when done online, or $40USD on the day of the contest. Due to each division receiving a maximum of 15 skaters, you’ll have to hurry up to register before the spots fill up.
The judging criteria will be based on the average score given by three judges, and their estimation will be determined from a combination of difficulty, style, and the trick selection they see on the jam where the contestants battle each other. For the street category, there will be 2 skaters per jam, and each one of them will have 2 minutes to perform their tricks. And, for the bowl division, 6 skaters will be permitted per jam and they’ll have 3 runs at 30 seconds each, in which to complete their stunts.
We’ll keep you posted on any updates that you’d need to know. Please take note of the schedule planned for the event on The Boardr website so you don’t miss a thing.
Good luck and see you there!
Read also: SkateFree: Miami Open Final Results