Rok Bagoroš recently added another ‘first’ to his inimitable ‘box of tricks’ when he became the first international motorsport athlete to perform for the fans in Palestine, the first to leave his tire tracks in Bethlehem, and the first to form a bond between Palestinian and Israeli two-wheel aficionados. The moral of the story? Sport knows no boundaries!
Rok had the time of his life in Ramallah in the West Bank of Palestine and also delivered his best show ever. He performed in front of six thousand fans and pumped up the volume of the city with 300 Palestinian riders by his side.
Rok: “When I perform abroad I usually know what to expect, but I didn’t have the faintest idea what to expect in Palestine. And I didn’t see a single rider on the road from the Tel Aviv airport to Ramallah. The following day there was a massive traffic jam that blocked the road leading to the venue, and this was from where the caravan of riders was supposed to start off after Ramallah. I had already decided there probably wouldn’t be more than 30 riders at the show then they suddenly appeared from all directions, weaving their way in and out of the traffic. In the end, about 300 riders generated tremendous excitement all over Ramallah!”
Sport, music and everything that connect
Rok said the combination of sport, music and the enthusiasm of the fans brought everything together in a fantastic way. “When the show started, people climbed to the top of neighboring buildings and street lamps to get a better view. It was like being in a beehive. Spectators handed me their babies and photographed me with them. The DJ mixed my music with their traditional tracks – and the crowd went mad!”
To Bethlehem, Jericho, and Jerusalem
Rok was exhausted after the day’s adventures, where he had as many as ten security guards watching over him, and he was happy to fall into his hotel bed that night. But his RokON show made another stop the next day when he took his KTM 690 DUKE stunt bike out to visit Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ. Next, Rok visited Jericho, the world’s lowest lying city. “I felt like I was literally riding on the history of humankind. I loved the cracked earth, the stones, and the thousand-year-old olive trees. They give you renewed strength. There’s something very special about these places.”
The show will rock on
Rok Bagoroš not only performs at important events in many parts of the world; he also has his own show and other related events. And although he says he has had ‘his five minutes of fame,’ he’s already thinking about new projects, while keeping his feet firmly on the ground. Rok had a great time in Palestine. He made a lot of new connections and even got the opportunity to eat his favorite food – hummus.
Photos: Janez Kocbek