Opinião – É Logo Ali: Brazilian competes in reality climbing show produced by Jason Momoa and Chris Sharma


In times of the BBB invading its social networks, a very different reality show is being shown on the streaming channel HBO Max with unexpected repercussions for a country where climbing walls is not exactly the most popular sport. This is “The climb”, produced by actor Jason Momoa (yes, Aquaman in person and ropes) and climber Chris Sharma, one of the most important names in the universe of the planet’s walls.

The script follows the line of every self-respecting reality show, with 10 non-professional climbers competing for a prize of US$ 100,000 plus a year of sponsorship from the sports apparel manufacturer prAna, while the edition exposes the small or big personal dramas of each one. . And, although most are from the United States, HBO’s biggest market, and a few from Great Britain, the series even includes a Brazilian to represent the tiny universe of national climbers — the 30-year-old geologist André Braga, known as Deco, from Curitiba.

Without giving spoilers, let’s leave aside the final result of the dispute, which will air until the end of this month. But the blog talked to Deco, who was shown in the first episode as the bad boy of the group, when he gave up climbing a soggy wall on the island of Mallorca, in Spain, when he learned that his passage to the next stage was assured because other two competitors had fallen by the wayside at points below where he already was.

“It was a strategic decision for the first episode, because after seven competitors had already climbed and the rain had tightened, it became very dangerous to insist on reaching the top, it was a 27-meter climb that could end if you fell, as was likely with the stone totally wet, in some serious damage”, explains Deco, adding that he was there “not to compete, but to have fun”. His decision made him hear, in front of the cameras and the entire group, that his idol Sharma was disappointed with the decision, but he guarantees that conversations after what appeared on screen resolved all the discomfort.

“I think that there was an intention on the part of the production and of Sharma himself, to create a tension of more competition within the group, but in fact we ended up becoming a family, we cheered everyone for everyone”, remembers Deco, who in later moments received several praise from Sharma himself.

A climber since he was 14, Deco ended up on the show when he saw the casting ad published by HBO Max on Blog de Escalada, a site specializing in the sport. “I had already participated in other castings for reality shows, not for climbing, but for other subjects, and I applied,” he recalls. There were months of exchanges of messages, interviews, back and forth, until he was finally called for the medical and psychological examination that would end up taking him to the group at the end of last year.

“I have no idea why I was chosen, I think because they were looking for diversity”, evaluates Deco about his selection. And the group effectively reveals this footprint: there are blacks, whites, a 53-year-old Scottish woman, a 22-year-old white medical student, a trans man, a Brazilian woman who left for the United States at the age of 17 with her cleaning mother — and Deco, “white, straight and cis”, as he defines himself.

Regardless of the result (no spoilers, remember?), Deco celebrates the fact that the reality show has been among the most viewed on the channel in Brazil in recent weeks, “and even mentioned by people who come to say they’re watching it, despite not having the slightest intimacy with climbing, nor having ever thought about practicing the sport”. For him, who has, since 2019, with two friends, the company Fábrica de Formas, which develops projects for climbing walls with different levels of difficulty, the main triumph of his participation in the program is precisely to attract attention to the activity and demystify it. there. Hopefully, with time, the sport becomes more popular around here.

“In Brazil, the price of equipment makes climbing an elitist activity, without a doubt, but our intention is to try to popularize it as much as possible, taking walls, which require less expensive equipment, to schools, condominiums and communities, involving children with the sport,” he says. He adds that he is organizing, together with climber Aretha Duarte, the first black Latin American woman, a former can picker, to reach the top of Everest, to develop a program to publicize the climb among needy groups. “We’ve even received help from some of the reality colleagues who already have sponsorship, and who donated sneakers for our children”, he says, who bets on the practice as “an intense way of bringing socio-environmental transformation” to places where it is not always present. .

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