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Thursday, January 7, 2010
Updated: March 10, 2:24 PM ET
Interview: Luan de Oliveira Goes Pro

A bigspin heel at Damn Am, on his way to a second win at Tampa Am and a new pro career. It's been a good year for Luan.
I went to Brazil once and, ever since, I've had a place in my heart for Brazilians. It was almost ten years ago when I visited Rio de Janeiro (pronounced Hio de Janeiro), which is nothing like Porto Alegre, the place where Luan de Oliviera is from, but whatever—I'm just trying to pretend like I have some sort of kinship here.

If my memory serves me, I went down to the beach expecting women in those bikinis that barely cover their lady parts and found that nobody goes to the beach in Rio in their winter, which is still so uncomfortably hot that they put anti-melting agents in the chocolate bars they sell in the streets, so they don't melt on the shelves (good for the vendors, but bad for anyone who likes to taste the chocolate as it dissolves in your mouth). With no one on the beach, I got super hammered. Then, out of nowhere, these two guys came up and asked me and my homie if we wanted to play fútbol. Playing soccer in the sand is like trying to sprint in water. I was cramping and nearly threw up. It was horrible. After that, my friend and I went on an adventure into the favelas at night, armed with nothing but pocket least, I thought we were in the favelas—I was so drunk on caipirinha we really could have been in a middle class neighborhood for all I knew. Let's just pretend it was, though.

Point is, coming from a land where winter is unbearably hot, chocolate bars don't melt, fútbol is played in unforgiving sand and you're close to some of the most sketchy ghettos in the world (so I've heard), Luan has come a long way to be an up-and-coming pro in the USA. I caught up with him about his sweet year and being Brazilian and stuff.

Luan, you've had a hell of a year - you dropped a video part in Extremely Sorry, had tricks in United by Fate, won the Damn Am, won the Tampa Am, turned pro. What's next?
Just keeping skating and film for the next United by Fate.

You're back in Brazil now, right?
Yes, I am back home for 1 month and a half.

What's your hometown like?
The hood I grew up in is real sketchy. To get to my house, you have to cross a small jungle and then you get there.

When you are there, do you usually fly solo, or do you have a crew?
Sometimes myself and sometimes with my crew.

There's a lot of talk about how you're a mysterious person. What do you do that's mysterious? Do you just disappear? What are you doing when you're alone? Do you just lurk on the Internet? Do you have another life that we don't know about where you are training to be a pro beach soccer player?
Man, I don't like to tell about my life to other people. I just tell things if i really know the person. Sometimes is good to disappear for a little bit, you know? Like, bring your board, your money and then go.

Is your tendency to disappear inspired by Tom Penny? Did he give you some tips about creating that mystique?
Yeah, I like Tom Penny and I like the way he lives his life you know? Just doing his thing and f--k the rest.

A lot of Brazilians have come to the United States to make a mark. Could you tell me the first word or phrase that comes to mind when I list the following names:

Adelmo Jr.—Rastafari
Bob Burnquist—f--kin' amazing
Rodrigo Tx—Mr pop
Carlos De Andrade—Lil' guy
Leticia Bufoni—Lil girl
Og De Souza—the hero
Fabrizio Santos—Fs flip.

You are the first person to win Tampa Am twice. Before you were given the pro nod by Flip, did you ever consider staying am, entering Tampa Am again and just cleaning up, kind of like an Olympic-caliber sprinter entering in an elementary gym class race?
No, I don't think so.

Do you have any philosophy or final words to live by?
I just wanna say thank you guys. Thanks to my girlfriend, family, friends, sponsor and just life! WICKED!!!

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