Paralympic athlete and CEO, for André Cintra, professions intersect


At 22 years old, André Cintra he faced a second challenge in his life, this time involving his personal and professional life. With the death of his father, he had to take over the business of Amend, a cosmetics company that was, at the time, with several bankruptcy protests. Five years earlier, Cintra had been in a motorcycle accident and had her leg amputated above the knee. Accident that changed the course of his life and led him to compete in snowboarding in the Paralympics from Sochi (Russia, 2014) and Pyeongchang (South Korea, 2018).

Talking to Casual, Cintra tells his story as an athlete and CEO, and tells how characteristics of the sport influence professional career decisions.

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The accident happened in the late 1990s. How was your post-hospital life?

I was seventeen when I had the accident. It was a pretty quick change, suddenly my life changed and turned upside down. But it was also a very important moment in my trajectory and that made my life deviate to a completely different path.

What motivated you to focus on sports after the accident?

I already played sports, but I had never competed professionally. It wasn’t a super-planned thing, things were happening. At the time, there were no prostheses for water sports, so I started making my own prostheses. This process of developing the prostheses, starting to test and losing a prosthesis in the water was a challenge. A challenge in getting to do things that no one else has done before. I was probably one of the first guys to do it with a prosthesis of this type, because they didn’t exist. This process, added to the experience of practicing on several different types of boards, was motivating me and bringing me more energy to continue.

What sports did you play at the time?

A friend who lived in England brought a kite [de kitesurfe]. When I saw that, I was dying to do it. Even with the prostheses made by me, I went to two different schools and the teachers said: ‘very cool your willpower and such, but you won’t get it, because you don’t have the movement of the knee’. This left me stumped, I thought ‘you don’t want to teach me everything well, that’s your decision, but I’m going to learn, I’m going to’.