This is the first time two world champions have come out of the same skate park
ATASCADERO — In Lake Havasu, Arizona, at Tinnell Memorial Skate Park on the weekend of Oct. 13 thru 16, the Tenth Annual Scooter World Championships took place. Two of ATown Park’s very own riders came away as world champions.
Fifteen-year-old Claire Parks came away as the Woman’s Pro World Champion, beating out other scooter riders from all over the world, many of them older than her. Meanwhile, 23-year-old Chris Farris, also known as the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time), solidified his status as the Men’s Pro World Champion. This is the first time two world champions have come out of the same skate park.
“Chris, without any dispute, performed [one of] the most technical and impressive runs in the history of the sport,” stated ATown Park owner Kevin Campion. “There was a rather unanimous, athletes, judges, spectators, everybody, a rather unanimous assessment that he is currently the greatest of all time.”
Farris is a local who grew up in Atascadero and has been riding at ATown Park since it opened over 15 years ago. After earning world championship honors at Lake Havasu, Farris headed to Australia to compete in the Nitro World Games; he is now headed to Argentina for another competition that could earn him even more titles. There he will meet up with Parks, who is also competing.
Parks, who earned herself second place in the 2021 World Championships in Barcelona, Spain, solidified herself as the best women’s scooter rider in the world this year. The competition was run in line with International Olympic Committee standards, and the Atascadero teen thrived during her runs.
“I didn’t really go there to win,” Parks said. “I just went there to have fun and hang out with some of the girls that I had met before, but obviously, I was going to try to do my best. And I practiced a lot over the past three days that I was there, and I ended up winning.”
During the four-day competition, Parks ended up getting second place in the semifinals.
“I knew the next day I had to do way better tricks just to step it up,” she said. “In my run, I changed two or three of my tricks to upgrade them, and that got me the winning run. It meant a lot to me. It was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had.”
Scooter riders from all over the world came to Arizona to compete, including riders from Europe, South America, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.
“By comparison to other athletes, she [Parks], for the most part, stays in an upright position and does all these incredible tricks that incorporate her scooter flying all around her body as she’s well above whatever obstacles she’s clearing. She has one of the loftiest styles in the game right now,” added Campion.
Parks has been riding since she was very young. She used to ride her three-wheeled scooter around Atascadero Lake, and when she got older, she started riding at the Templeton Skate Park. But it was when she traveled to Bakersfield for her first competition that she realized she’d fallen in love with the sport. She’s been riding at ATown Park (which the City of Atascadero has provided to the community for the last 20 years) for close to seven years and is there every single day that she’s in town.