- Title: Freestyle trailblazer talks career, artwork and Olympics
- Date: 27th May 2021
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (RECENT) (REUTERS VIA ZOOM) (SOUNDBITE) (English) FREESTYLE SOCCER PLAYER AGUSKA MNICH SAYING ON WHETHER SHE HAS FACED SEXISM IN HER SPORT: "So in 2014, when I was training for six months, I went to the first competition and two freestylers told me like 'Oh you can't achieve nothing here, you don't know how to do freestyle'. And this really like set in my mind. But without this I remember like a lot of people were telling me like why you are standing here and doing all the time the same tricks that don't make sense or something, and I just didn't care because I knew what I wanted to do. I was focused on that. Of course there were like a lot of distraction and a lot of limitation from the other people, like from all of these things. But this didn't affect me because I knew what I wanted to achieve I know where I wanted to be."
- Embargoed: 10th June 2021 10:25
- Keywords: Aguska Mnich Olympics freestyle soccer
- Location: VARIOUS LOCATIONS
- City: VARIOUS LOCATIONS
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Europe
- Reuters ID: LVA006EEQKKSF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Freestyle soccer star Aguska Mnich says her sport can be compared to street art - but that shouldn't stop it becoming part of the Olympics.
The Pole is hoping to regain her Red Bull Street Style title as this year's competition gets under way.
The tournament pits the best freestylers in the world against each other, and culminates in a grand final in Valencia, Spain in November.
Mnich won the title in 2018 and 2019, and was also European Champion in 2017 and 2019.
To launch this year's event, which has a series of qualifying rounds, Mnich teamed up with London-based street artist Captain Kris to create a grafitti-style artwork.
But Mnich is hoping for a bigger stage to showcase her talents on, and insists freestyle soccer should be considered for an Olympic slot.
The IOC is embracing 'urban' sports to try and capture the imagination of a younger generation, with 3x3 basketball and break dancing among new competitions for Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024.
(Production: Iain Axon)
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