By: Justin Felisko
February 13, 2018
PUEBLO, Colo. – 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi wiggled his hips to the left and right and raised his arms into the air toward the raucous crowd inside the Sprint Center on Sunday afternoon.
The Guilherme Marchi samba was in full force this past weekend as Marchi went 3-for-3 at The PBR 25th: Unleash The Beast Caterpillar Classic to earn his 25th career victory on the PBR’s premier series.
Inside the locker room, Marchi leaned back in his chair and laughed about his mini-celebratory dance that he has brought back to life this year after previously dancing earlier in his career.
“Everyone needs a dance,” Marchi roared. “Stetson, am I right?”
Stetson Lawrence celebrates in the arena with a Native American dance in recognition of his Sioux and Chippewa heritage.
For Marchi, the song he dances to is actually that of his future brother-in-law, Marquinho Guerra.
Marquinho is a singer/performer in Brazil and is the brother of Marchi’s fiancée, Maria (Guta), and uncle of Guilherme and Maria’s son, Guilherme Jr.
“After I ride, they play my brother-in-law’s song – Tortinho,” Marchi said. “It is kind of fun. I used to dance when I first came here. 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008. It is another way for celebration. It is fun.
“Now I have my own dance.”
Marquinho also dates a famous barrel racer in Brazil, Fatiana Ferreira. She is a three-time national champion and two-time winner at the Barretos rodeo.
According to Marchi, “Tortinho” is a song about a man who goes out and has a fun night of dancing and drinking.
Marchi had plenty of reasons to celebrate and dance this past weekend after clinching his fourth victory in Kansas City when he rode Smooth Air for 83.75 points.
It was his second consecutive 83.75-point ride in the Sprint Center following his 83.75-point ride on Hy Test in Round 2. The Brazilian native began the event with 86.25 points on The Punisher.
Marchi had not celebrated an event victory in a long time.
It had been 525 days since the 35-year-old won his last premier series event in Aug. 2016 in Thackerville, Oklahoma.
“I am so happy to win this event,” he said. “Last year I won no events, and this year I haven’t covered many of my bulls in the short go. I am so blessed to be strong this week and to get my job done.”
Last year was the first time in Marchi’s career that he did not win at least one event at any level of PBR competition. Not only did Marchi not win any events last year, but he also didn’t win a single round of competition.
Marchi’s last round win was during Round 2 of the 2016 PBR World Finals when he split the win with Ty Pozzobon.
“It is getting harder to win an event. Of course, I am older and those young kids have been riding good. When you have a chance to win an event, you have to be thankful. That is the prize. When you push yourself hard, that is the prize.”
The PBR’s all-time rides leader (622) admits it has been hard being a World Champion and not having your name atop the world standings or seeing yourself on top of the shark cage on a consistent basis.
“It is really hard for us because it is all about your confidence,” Marchi said. “When you are near the bubble and down a little bit, it makes you think more. ‘I am a World Champion. I can win.’
“Sometimes you don’t, and you are hard on yourself to be right there.”
Even though he was frustrated with his in-arena struggles, Marchi remained confident with Maria in his corner. She continued to push him to remain strong and to believe in himself.
“I did not give up,” Marchi said. “The hard thing is when you give up. “When you don’t want to push yourself no more. You don’t want to do exercises. When you exercise, you feel better and mentally stronger. Everything comes from your house too. When you leave your house, everything comes with you. If family good, then everything is easier.
“I am happy for my family to be here. My fiancée and little Guilherme. They push me hard and keep me strong in this race. I still believe I can do it and I am so happy to win this event this year.”
Marchi is now in a position to make a true run at the World Championship for the first time since the 2014 season.
He is seventh in the world standings heading into the St. Louis Invitational, presented by Express Employment Professionals, and is only 776.67 points behind world leader Dener Barbosa.
Marchi believes there will be more dancing in 2018.
“This makes me wake up again and see it is not over,” Marchi concluded. “I have a chance to push myself harder. Get on more practice bulls. Do more exercise. Eat healthy. Drink good. Have fun. Sleep great. Wake up. Say, ‘Thanks God for another great day, and let’s push myself to win another event.’”
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