Page back
RIBERA Cristian
Sport Para athletics, Para cross-country
NPC Brazil   
GenderMen
Age19
Place of BirthCerejeiras, BRA
Height1.60 m
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
LW11.5
Further Personal Information
Residence
Jundiaí, BRA
Occupation
Athlete, Student
Languages
Portuguese
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He began cross-country skiing in 2015 in Jundiai, Brazil.
Why this sport?
He began practising sports at age four. At age 11 he had competed at school level in Brazil, and thought taking up Para cross-country skiing would give him the opportunity to experience new things. He was introduced to Para Nordic skiing at a workshop in Brazil organised by the Agitos Foundation, a partner of the International Paralympic Committee [IPC].
Club / Team
Programa de Esportes e Atividades Motoras Adaptadas [PEAMA]: Jundiaí, BRA
Name of coach
Taylor Brian [national]
Training Regime
He trains up to 15 hours per week.
Senior International Debut
Year
2017
Competing for
Brazil
Tournament
World Cup
Location
Canmore, AB, CAN
General Interest
Nicknames
Porco Loco ['Crazy Pig', in reference to the mascot of Brazilian football team Palmeiras. "I support Palmeiras and when I started skating a teacher gave me a green cheerleading shirt and it had a symbol written on it - Crazy Pig - so my friends started calling me that"]. (paralympic.org, 28 Feb 2022; Athlete, 09 Feb 2018)
Hobbies
Skateboarding, football, playing video games, watching Formula One races. (Athlete, 04 Mar 2022; cpb.org.br, 03 Feb 2022)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning silver in the sprint at the 2022 World Championships in Lillehammer, Norway, finishing in sixth place in the sitting 15km event at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. (Athlete, 04 Mar 2022)
Hero / Idol
US basketballer Michael Jordan. (Athlete, 04 Mar 2022)
Injuries
He broke one of his fingers while training in Italy in January 2019. The injury prevented him from competing at the 2019 World Championships in Prince George, BC, Canada. (paralympic.org, 15 Mar 2019)

He broke a finger in 2017 and was out of action for two weeks. (Athlete, 09 Feb 2018)

In 2013 he broke the femur bone in his leg and missed nine months. (Athlete, 09 Feb 2018)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"No pain, no gain." (Athlete, 09 Feb 2018)
Awards and honours
He and fellow cross-country skier Aline Rocha were named Brazil's flag bearers for the opening ceremony of the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. (IPC Entries, 04 Mar 2022)

In 2018 and 2019 he received the Best Athlete of the Year award in the snow sports category from the Brazilian Paralympic Committee [CPB]. (globoesporte.globo.com, 12 Dec 2018; estadionacionaldebrasilia.com, 01 Dec 2018; grupoabcnews.com.br, 19 Dec 2019)

He received the Revelation of the Year award from the CPB in 2018. (globoesporte.globo.com, 12 Dec 2018; estadionacionaldebrasilia.com, 01 Dec 2018)

In 2018 he was named Male Athlete of the Year by the Brazilian Confederation of Snow Sports [CBDN]. (cpb.org.br, 05 Jun 2018)

He was named the 2017 Athlete Revelation of the Year in Para cross-country skiing by the CBDN. (cbdn.org.br, 16 May 2017)
Other sports
He has represented Brazil in Para athletics at the world junior championships. He has also competed in Para roller skiing competitions at national level, and taken part in Para triathlon events at regional level in Brazil. (tribunadejundiai.com.br, 05 Aug 2019; YouTube channel, 04 Oct 2018; brasilzerograu.com, 16 Oct 2017)
Milestones
He became the first Brazilian Para Nordic skier to claim a world championship medal when he finished second in the individual sprint event at the 2022 World Championships in Lillehammer, Norway. (SportsDeskOnline, 15 Feb 2022)

His bronze and silver medals at the 2018 World Cup event in Vuokatti, Finland, were Brazil's first World Cup medals in Para Nordic skiing. (paralympic.org, 15 Mar 2019)

At age 15 years and 118 days he was the youngest athlete from any nation to compete at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. (SportsDeskOnline, 22 Jan 2019; paralympic.org, 13 Mar 2018)
Famous relatives
His younger sister Eduarda represented Brazil in cross-country skiing at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing. (SportsDeskOnline, 15 Feb 2022)
Ambitions
To win a medal at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. (paralympic.org, 28 Feb 2022; Athlete, 09 Feb 2018)
Impairment
He was born with arthrogryposis, a congenital condition that causes joint contractures. He has had 21 operations during his life to correct his atrophied legs. (Athlete, 09 Feb 2018)
Other information
TALENT SHINES EARLY
At the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang he finished sixth in the men's 15km sitting event and ninth in the men's 7.5km sitting event. No Brazilian Para athlete from any sport had ever finished inside the top 10 at a Paralympic Winter Games before that. "I feel so honoured for having made history for my country, it is an inexplicable feeling. Despite not reaching the top five, I met my goal of ending among the top 10. It was very tough and [I] did not imagine something like this at only 15 years old. It is very important for me to be the youngest Paralympian at this Games, but what I really wanted when I came here was to do well and surprise everyone." (paralympic.org, 15 Mar 2019; paralympic.org, 13 Mar 2018)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games - Para cross-country
Rank Year Event Result
6 2018 15km - Sitting 46:35.2
Qualification 2018 Sprint - Sitting 3:29.96
9 2018 7.5km - Sitting 25:12.3
13 2018 4 x 2.5km Relay Mixed 32:16.7
14 2022 18km - Sitting 54:40.3
Semifinal 2022 Sprint - Sitting 2:59.8
13 2022 10km - Sitting 37:39.9
8 2022 4 x 2.5km Relay Mixed 34:10.8
World Championships - Para cross-country
Rank Year Event Result
8 2021/2022 10km - Sitting 35:48.4
6 2021/2022 18km - Sitting 52:37.4
2 2021/2022 Sprint - Sitting