Greek stunt rider Marios Pol reflects on career with Australia’s Great Moscow Circus

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December is the month that Australia’s Great Moscow Circus wraps up its tent to give the performers a much-needed break after bringing entertainment to crowds around Australia.

For the circus’ only Greek performer, trial motorbike stunt rider Marios Polychroniadis (Marios Pol) it is the end of an era.

“I joined the circus because I wanted to experience a different culture and travel around Australia. I have seen some beautiful places. But performing is not forever,” the 43-year-old tells The Greek Herald.

Originally from Athens, Pol joined the circus nearly four years ago after having travelled the world and lived in several countries to coach professional trial bike riders for World Championships.

His passion for trial motorbikes started when he was 17 after he rode a friend’s Enduro on the hills.

“People in Greece don’t see favourably someone who rides motorbikes as a teenager. I did not have support from my family but I was determined to turn my passion into a career,” he says.

Asked what kept him going he says that the adrenaline rush he gets when he performs his tricks is addictive.

“I can’t put in words the feeling I get,” he says, “but adrenaline can kill you and I want to stop before I have a serious accident.”

We chat about the discipline, resilience and positivity one needs to perform extreme sports and how Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner would have felt when he jumped to Earth from a helium balloon from the stratosphere as part of the Red Bull Stratos project.

“Not many people can do it but this is why I loved trial riding. Because it’s hard,” he says.

For the last four years Pol has been training for four to six hours daily before every show.

“When you do a stunt you can’t think about it. You need to practice it until it becomes second nature and this takes years of practice,” he says.

From the comfort of my desk, Pol seems like an idol for living a life on the edge and following his passion.

“I believe in myself. People can do whatever they want,” he says with a smile that radiates positivity.

I ask him for a message to younger people who look up to him.

“Don’t become a Marios Pol but better than him,” he says, “I never had role models myself just loved characteristics of other riders like Julien Dupont who was breaking the rules but was not hurting anyone.

“I just followed my dream.”

As of next year, Marios Pol will be riding recreationally not only his bike but also the waves in beaches around Australia. This is another passion of his.

“Life is too short not to do what we really want,” he says.

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