“It’s of course a great achievement for our country to be able to bring international Para snowboard events to South America. We had good athletes in Corralco."
Brazil may not be one of the first countries that comes to mind when thinking about winter sports, but the tropical climate and the lack of frequent snow has not prevented Brazilians from organising their first ever international Para snowboard competition.
The Chilean city of Corralco was the setting for a World Para Snowboard cross event featuring eight athletes from Brazil and Canada as part of the Brazilian National Snowboard Championships.
Canadian Alex Massie won the class LL2 race scoring 290 points followed by countrymen John Leslie (232 points) and Colton Liddle (174). But there was also plenty for the hosts to celebrate thanks to class LL1 rider Andre Cintra.
“It’s of course a great achievement for our country to be able to bring international Para snowboard events to South America. We had good athletes in Corralco,” said Cintra.
Together with Para Nordic skier Fernando Aranha, Andre Cintra was part of the first Brazilian team to compete at the Paralympic Winter Games at Sochi 2014. He finished 28th out of 33 riders in the men’s Para snowboard cross in Russia.
Corralco was part of the Brazilian’s preparation for the season in which he aims to qualify for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympics. To improve his training, Andre Cinta also took part in the Brazilian National Snowboard Open Championship in Chile.
Now he is looking forward to the Para Snowboard World Cup in Landgraaf, Netherlands, in November. It is there the 38-year-old needs to score points to achieve the dream of reaching his second Paralympic Winter Games.
“It felt really good to have the chance to compete against athletes from other countries [in Corralco]. The snowboard cross event was extremely important for me as preparation for the challenges ahead in the World Cup season. The track had improvements, there was very few wind and it was an incredible day,” said Cintra.
The World Para Snowboard competition in Corralco was organised by the Brazilian Snow Sports Federation (CBDN).
The PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games will be held 9-18 March.