"When I went to the 2012 Latin America Regional, I knew that I wouldn't win or be amongst the top five, but I went to learn. The experience I would get there would make all the difference ... in 2013."
Francisco Javier, aka Chiquinho, is a 26-year-old CrossFit athlete from Jundiai, Sao Paulo, Brazil, who after only one year of CrossFit is a dark horse to fear in Latin America.
Chiquinho has been into sports since he was 7 and began Judo. From then on, he participated in weightlifting, boxing and Capoeira (a Brazilian mix of martial arts, dance, rhythm and movement). In December 2011 during a trip to Chile, Chiquinho discovered CrossFit.
He started training in February 2012 at CrossFit Jundiai. He was skilled — he did a handstand push-up on his first attempt. Soon after, he was asked by the affiliate owners to participate in the Open. With very little CrossFit experience, he qualified for the Latin America Regional.
Despite the lack of experience, he finished Diane in 2:58 — the fastest time in his region. This was followed by a DNF when he couldn’t finish the minimum amount of work in the Row/Pistol/Hang Clean Event.
“When I went to the 2012 Latin America Regional, I knew that I wouldn’t win it or be amongst the top five, but I went to learn,” Chiquinho recalls. “The experience that I would get there would make all the difference for the Regionals in 2013.”
After the Regional, Chiquinho started to focus on training. He increased weights, improved benchmarks and went straight to winning a local competition in Brazil.
His plan is to go back and win.
“Of course I want to win, but to me the most important thing is to keep focused and know that I have given my best,” he explains. “I believe that the result is a consequence of your focus and effort. Your ranking is a natural consequence of your work.”
Chiquinho knows he’s got some competition. With new CrossFitters coming out of the woodwork, anyone has potential to surprise spectators.
“People believe that because of my evolution in CrossFit, after such a short time practicing it, I may be considered the dark horse in Latin America,” he says. “It may be so, but I also consider the work that all the other athletes have been doing throughout the year. Anyone could be the dark horse at the Regionals.”
Chiquinho is a natural competitor.
“We are competing everyday with ourselves and with others, be it to get a better job or to get better in our sport,” he says. “The competition moves me. I want to get better. I want to improve my times and increase my weights. I am very competitive, but I know the meaning of competition to me. If I win, great, I’m on the right path. If I lose, I need to analyze the reason why I lost, take everything into consideration and improve to get better results next time. I am moved by the competition because it makes me want to better myself daily.”
CrossFit is a sport that improves quality of life, both mentally and physically, as well as a way to bond with like-minded people, he says.
“To me, the Regionals and the Games are a moment of unity. I see these events as competitive events, but also an opportunity to unite with other CrossFitters from all over the world. It goes much beyond pure competition,” he explains. “I am competing with the best — not against the best. The competition is between me and the time, me and the weights.”
The ultimate goal is the Games.
“My dream is to participate in the Games. This is my goal. If now is not the time, I will for sure be working even harder in the future to achieve my goal.”