Wednesday, August 17th, 2016
“Reassessing the year”
World Cup downhill race, Brazillian National Downhill and BMX champion and a brilliant sporting ambassador for mountain biking. Brazilian Luana Oliviera is a rider that worked hard to pursue her dream and is now determined to help Brazil’s future mountain bikers.
2016 started on a high; travelling with her bikes and kit to enjoy some ride time with friends in California. Luana joined us at Sea Otter for her first event of the season and unfortunately an injury at Sea Otter Classic slalom put this was all put on hold. She decided to return home to have surgery, rest and recuperate with the energy of family and friends around her. Now she is back on the bike and brimming with energy:
“After surgery the recover was a little sore. I had a plate fitted with six bolts and a pined outside of my shoulder to help healing. I had to take care because of the pin’s on the outside. It’s funny, whenever I hit people with them- unintentionally.
The time to recovery has made me reflect why it happened and what I’m doing to my life. I find meditation has helped me to understand the benefits that this phase of life could bring to me.
It was a really useful time to organise my projects and prioritise what I love doing. I went through moments that made me think that I was not getting better, but in the other side, many moments that I was so confident to do my best and believed that I’m gonna be back on the bike in the right time. After a month and a half the recovery period seem to accelerated and with two and a half months I was already doing physiotherapy and feeling as if neither had broken.
I learned so much about myself in this situation, I’m feeling grateful for everyone who supported me.”
“The best feeling was when I picked up the bike for the first time and I felt like I had been riding yesterday :)”
One of Luana’s other passion in life is yoga
“It helps me a lot to connect to myself, finding my centre, so everything I choose to do, I perform better.
This practice is part of my lifestyle, which involve many things, not only just the physical part, but the spiritual and mental as well. After I started I noticed many positive changes, like the way I breathe, the way and how I eat, my preparation to ride, my thoughts during the practice, so I could see that all these details make a huge difference.”
Luana now has a full program for the rest of the year:
“The main focus now is to expand the access to mountain biking in Brazil through the constructions of pump tracks and tracks in general. Alongside this I will carry on with my mountain bike clinic to encourage and help new riders.”
“I moved to Florianopolis which is in southern Brazil. A city that I identify a lot and where I found the ideal lifestyle to continue enjoying the Brazilian culture that I love so much. I want to bring the whole experience and learning I had those years of travelling and racing and give for value to the sport here in my country. Brazil has a lot of potential but I feel that the tracks that are built here is made with little knowledge and planning. Along with a team we are looking for solutions to add more people in the sport and help in the evolution.”
” Now that I’m recovered and excited about the new Nukeproof’s, I will be back to riding an training as usual to make the most of the rest of the year and raise my level and to join the Panamerican race which will happen in November in Peru.”
Growing up in a soccer mad country like Brazil, it’s been a tough to establish herself as a Mountain Bike Athlete. But Luana see’s this as a positive.
“It is very important to remember where I started and the journey of how I have got to today. This sport has changed my life. I am enjoying helping develop these projects increase the access to biking and help more people benefiting like me. Brazil has limited support for any sport that is not soccer, so we can see this in the Olympics games, most athletes do not have the necessary support needed to compete worldwide.
To get where I am now has taken a battle and strong willpower. It’s important for me to remember that and keep trying to improve and show that people can do whatever we want, if they want it hard enough.”
Whats the local scene like to where you grew up and ride scene in general?
“I love it, we built a short downhill track close to my family’s house in Sao Roque and I always ride when I visit. But Brazil is huge, I don’t know lots of places, in South of Brazil there is a lot trails, near the Santa Catarina and Rio de Janeiro area.”
Brazil’s positive point is that due to the size we can ride a bike at any time of the year! For Mountain bike tourists its still difficult from my point of view. There are some places more focus on street cycling tourism, but Brazil’s tourist board has not yet been taking advantage of the geographically place, because there is a lot of mountains here to be enjoyed.
But I would tell you to come to Florianopolis next summer because we are working hard to build trails for next summer:)”
Follow Luana’s adventures @luanaOliviera101
Thank you to Luana and Danilo Cinacchi for the images