Marco de Santi came to the US with $100 in his pocket and he spoke no English. It was both comical, inspiring and sad… Until he became a World Champion. And when skating died, Marco went to the Cirque du Soleil.
Marco de Santi has the most interesting journey of any athlete I’ve had on the podcast. Born in a less than desirable situation in Sao Paolo, Brazil, Marco did what every kid does; he played soccer until he found skateparks. Marco quit team sports and headed to the USA at age 15, with literally nothing, to make his pro skating dream happen. While Marco eventually became a world Champion, inline was dropped by X-Games, and the organizing body of his sport didn’t include Marco in future events. So the first skater to land a triple was forced out of competition and into a life of LOVE, which he performs in every night with the Cirque de Soleil. It doesn’t get more rags to riches than this one.
TIMECODES: 03:30: Issues around his backyard vert ramp, growing up in Sao Paolo, and family life 10:00: Soccer, finding skating, stereotypes, roller rink skateparks, how does he pay to get to the US, and how does he stay 21:00: Not speaking English, meeting me, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and problems with judging 32:00: Mountain Dew, other sponsors, never wearing pads, and spending time at Woodward 34:00: The Yasutoko, the triple, and what’s cool about X Games 39:30: Rollerblade: Ski season may be over, but that feeling lasts all year with inline skating 41:30: Nerves, Silver at X Games, losing X Games, and then getting screwed by the ASA 47:00: Winning World Championships, all things Cirque de Soleil’s LOVE (skating, money, injury, perks), building his Vegas empire, and day trading 54:00: Inappropriate Questions with Hardcore Brazil, Carlos Pianowski.