Jaan Roose in Reggio, the tightrope walker who challenges the Strait with Redbull: “Ready to hit the record”


By John

He has accomplished several feats in the recent past, but the one he is about to undertake is the most complicated and, perhaps, the most fascinating. A crossing over three and a half kilometers suspended over the Strait of Messina, walking on a synthetic fiber ribbon (“dyneema”) stretched between the two pylons.

The protagonist of this “crazy” feat is the Latvian athlete John Roosewho met the press this afternoon in a well-known hotel in the province of Reggio Calabria. “It’s the biggest challenge of my life,” he said, “and I feel super excited and ready to pursue this record that no one has ever achieved.”

A long list of successes to which the Red Bull athlete now aims to add the most precious gem. It would therefore be a Guinness World Record crossing: the longest slackline walk in history (3646 meters) at a height of 261 meters, which would pulverize the previous record of 2710m of the Mont Dorè route, in France, among the favorite destinations of the entire slackliner community, with a gap of over 900 meters.

But how do you prepare for such an undertaking: «it is a tough training, but in the preparation it is also very important to eat well, drink a lot, sleep well. Continuing to beat my records is his whole life. It is like a metaphor, a continuous challenge with myself, the thought of doing it in this place excites me and gives me great strength». In the preparation for an undertaking such as crossing the Strait on a kind of rope, every detail becomes important. Even the material, therefore, is a central fact. «it was difficult to choose the material, comfortable shoes even if in the past I have accomplished undertakings barefoot».

«I remember exactly the day I decided to become a slackliner, that it would become my passion and then day after day, trying and training it became my life».

How did the idea of ​​undertaking this feat come about right here, in this corner of the world? “I am very attracted by the natural beauty of this place,” Jaan emphasized, “of the culture that exists here. I know some of the feats that have been accomplished by swimming in the Strait. But I also chose it for the difficulty of the feat, because it is fascinating and it is the most difficult challenge of my career.” An exciting challenge in front of which fear cannot exist.

“For me the most important thing is preparation and concentration,” Roose explained. “Fear is not a thought I can have because I am prepared and I am supported by an expert team that helps me to have all the information I need. It is a great challenge, for which I am not afraid of the length, because I am already prepared for long distances, but the wind is the factor that affects the feat the most, but I will have to take the heat into account. The slope is also a factor, so I will start slowly.”