UNICONs and competition

A couple of months ago there were some posts regarding UNICONs. All of the
persons that have attended UNICONs enjoyed them. Some like the competition.
Others enjoyed everything but the competition. I want to share my ideas on this
subject. As you can see, they are mixed.

In the late 80’s and early 90’s, Puerto Rico got a crop of talented
unicyclists, all within two years age differential. This group included Jose
Roman, Javier Ruiz, Carlos Medina, Anthony Hernandez, Jose Lopez, Ernesto Ruiz,
etc. Quite a group.

The reason they became so good had a lot to do with the IUF, and the UNICONs,
especially the competitive part of it. Personally, I have enjoyed many
interested difficult routines, and many of the most popular skills now in the
Rule book were invented then by them. So, I cannot be against the competitive
part of it.

On the other hand, what I value the most from the IUF, more than the competitive
success, is the good friends I have made from all over the world. I am afraid
that the intense competition has not been positive for this. I realize now that
I have had a bad attitude against some good friends because of this intense
competition. I apologize to anybody who may have felt that I was unjust, you
probably were right. I also feel that we could also have been recipients of a
similar attitude. I also have seen that happen between second and third persons
not related to me.

Also, many persons felt that the best part of UNICON VIII was on Monday night,
when a circle was made and many very talented unicyclists took turns to show
some of their best stuff. You could feel that they were not showing up, but
sharing some difficult new skills, while other top unicyclist admired them.
There was no competition there.

So, there it is. The purpose of this letter is not to offer an answer. It is to
raise awareness on this subject now that probably the most successful UNICON in
history is getting nearer. Competition can be great and can be a tool to achieve
some good things. But we must keep it in perspective.

Alberto Ruiz Puerto Rico Alberto Ruiz ruizb@coqui.net