I first met Mike Opalek in 1996 when he was in Ohio filming for the Senate video â€œDay of the Rope.â€
I was hanging out at our mutual friend Steveâ€™s place when Mike came by, bringing along then-16-year-old Eric Schrijn and Louie Zamora. I suppose as first meetings go, it went pretty well. Mike was insightful and funny, and different than I had imagined.
I liked his skating and I liked his writing in Box Magazine, and years later Iâ€™d learn that I wasnâ€™t the only one heâ€™d inspired.
Iâ€™d also learn about all the cool stuff he got to do through skating, like be on posters for Nike in Asia, do stunts in â€œBatman & Robin,â€ thrash Devilâ€™s Backbone in â€œAirborne,â€ coach international blade teams, not to mention that his first pro wheel was the very first pro wheel, and its graphics said it all: American Dreams. Read this conversation between Mike and long-time friend Chris Mitchell to learn a lot about the history of rollerblading.â€”JE