Brazilian cross-country skier Cristian Werstemaier Ribera is the youngest athlete in the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.
The 15 years-old student from Brazil takes part in three cross-country skiing events in the category of sitting competitors. In his first race, the 15km cross-country skiing event, he finished sixth - out of 29 competitors. He will compete in further races on Wednesday and Saturday.
Cristian, who is nicknamed ‘Porco Loco’, which means the 'crazy pig', has competed in Para roller skiing competitions at national level before. However, he only began cross-country skiing in 2015.
The Paralympian athlete was born with arthrogryposis, a condition that causes joint contractions meaning he has shorter and weaker muscles. Cristian has had to endure 21 operations during his life to correct the stiff muscles in his legs.
In 2015, Cristian had his first contact with cross-country skiing during a project from the Brazilian Paralympic Committee (CPB) and the Brazilian Confederation of Snow Sports (CBDN). This project is founded by the Agitos Foundation Grant Support Programme. Several of the international Paralympian athletes belong to the Team Agitos and are supported by the Grant Programme.
image: Marcio Rodrigues/MPIX/CPB