Vinih Kush, Running Rio!!!

Vinih Kush, Running Rio em português

Photos by @marinanacamuli & @nobillekim

As runners, we tend to have tunnel vision while running. We just focus on what's in front of us, moving our feet steadily, step by step, step by step. The thing about us runners in the diverse running community is that we tend to only focus on the communities we are a part of, whereas the posts we are used to seeing only show how they think the running community “should” be. What we continue to do here at Mid Strike Magazine is to be the avenue, the voice of our community not only locally but internationally as well. There are so many of us around the world that it's only fair that we take the time to highlight these runners. One of those runners is Vinih Kush, who is one of the most consistent runners you will see running around Rio not only standing up, but visually as well.

MSM: As we continue to move forward with this publication, we continue to meet runners from around the world and have the chance to speak with our international runners. We always get a little excited. That said, welcome to Mid Strike Magazine. Let's get to know a little bit about Vinih.

Vinih: Yo, Mid Strike Magazine!! I'm Vinih Kush, I'm 28 years old and I live in Rio de Janeiro Brazil, I'm a contemporary artist, creative director, and cultural manager. I work with culture and relationships within big brands and specifically with Street Culture. I'm part of the Hip Hop community and that's where I built my entire base, I started doing graffiti when I was 12 years old and soon, I got to know all this big culture. My parents are sports people, since I was little, I was influenced by sports in my life, I was an amateur football player as a child and almost turned professional, I'm glad my parents chose my studies first and didn't let me go, hahaha. Discipline and the traumas I experienced as a child brought me the hatred that I have inside me and I managed to transform it into the will to win, so know that I am the sum of my hatred with the discipline of my will to win. The race has always been present in the sports that I practiced, in addition to football, I have already walked professionally on SKATE DOWNHILL, where I raced on insane slopes, it was an unforgettable experience.

Skateboarding made me learn to walk on the street just like graffiti, but in different ways. 2 years ago, I started to practice street running during COVID-19, because it is a sport that I could train alone. I fell in love with the race culture! All share a unique experience of overcoming their own limits and have a lot of cultural diversity involved, despite being an individual sport, I also consider it a team sport. Running requires focus and determination, and only those who have this discipline evolve, I have discipline and focus so I won't stop evolving.

MSM: What I've noticed with international runners is that there's a deeper connection with the runners and the cities they're from. I'm sure the city of Rio is part of your DNA, it's part of you. What does it mean to you to represent your city, to run down the street you call home?

Vinih: Running down the street is something I've always done; I've always been running. When I wasn't exercising, I was running after money or opportunities to grow my work, I've also run a lot from the police doing graffiti, I don't consider it a crime but it's still illegal! Being able to represent my urban community in the races in Rio de Janeiro is something that motivates me more and more, because taking on a leadership role in this environment is a responsibility that helps me maintain my discipline, culture is commitment.

I created my own language; in regular training I always felt racism from rich white runners and that motivated me to be better than them.

Vinih Kush

MSM: Representation is critical as we travel through our communities, especially for people of color. Seeing people running to be healthy to be well in our own communities shows us that in fact there are people like us, it shows us that we can break the narrative and live a healthy life and not be the “runner” that magazines try to show us in other publications. What are some of the things you've done to create adequate representation in the RIO running community, and what are some of the things you'd like to see continued in your community?

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