Rock climbing is a sport that is still not very recognized in Portugal. How did you get involved in rock climbing and how was your evolution?
I started rock climbing when I was 15 years old. At the time, there were very few rock climbing people, but I ended up having contact with the sport through a youth association near the area where I lived, which promoted several different activities, and one day I decided to try climbing. Initially, I wasn't very good at it, and what motivated me to continue was, without a doubt, the socialization, getting to know new places and new people. The places where you rock climb are incredible! After a short time, I really started to learn how to climb and that changed everything. My life became all about rock climbing for all the time I had. When I wasn't in school, I trained on a makeshift wall at a friend's house, because at that time there were no climbing walls. I started going to competitions at that time, and although my level was still very low, there wasn't much competition and soon I was on the podium. The competitions motivated me for a few more years... I trained a lot, often without any support, and I also invested a lot of money representing Portugal in world championships. But it wasn't the lack of support that kept me away from competitions. The essence of climbing is in the mountains, and being locked up for days in a sports hall had nothing to do with me. Exploring climbing spots around the world and trying harder and harder climbing routes was what I wanted to do. It is very addictive to climb. After more than twenty years of climbing, I have no doubt that climbing is a lifestyle.
Do you think that football still takes all the airtime away from all the other sports?
Football still moves a lot of people and that's not going to change, because football is part of Portuguese culture. I don't follow football, nor do I have a club, but I follow the games of our national team with more enthusiasm than I follow any other sport, probably because the energy of a lot of people together cheering for the same thing is very contagious.
To what extent is sport an integral and important part of culture?
Sport plays a very significant role in culture. Football, of course, for the influence it has, is a good example, but there are also sports that have brought new styles into our culture, like hip-hop (in dance) or skateboarding. Culture ends up influencing, and being influenced by, everything that surrounds us.
Do you think fashion and sport can go hand in hand? What do you think can be the influence of one and the other in their respective fields?
I think so. I think sport offers many ways to communicate an idea or a style. I remember, for example, that in the 70s/80s climbers all over the world were climbing in brightly coloured lycra trousers, not because it was more comfortable, but because it was just a fashion.
How would you define modern Portuguese culture?
Modern Portuguese culture is increasingly multicultural. We haven't lost our identity, but we have gained more culture, more flavours, more ideas, more innovations. I feel that we have evolved a lot and fast.
What, for you, is the role of brands, like Overcube, in the voice that modern Portuguese culture should have regarding sports, culture, diversity, disruption, inclusion and so many other areas essential to development?
Brands like Overcube play a very significant role in our society, because brands with this dimension end up shaping generations, in different ways and in very different areas. They serve as major influencers in transmitting ideals, concepts, values, styles and fashions.