Athletes into the fashion world. Episode 6: The judo player Célio Dias

27 abr, 2015

First of all, I would like to thank you for your invitation! it is such a great honor to be here, because this is actually my first interview in English and, what I find more interesting, is that this is my first interview for a modeling web site. So I’m very glad to be here with you… Thanks again!



I was born in Lisbon, but my roots come from África, Guiné-Bissau. I was raised in a ghetto environment, which I’m really proud of, because it taught me life sometimes can be really mean towards you, although if you have an inner strength that allows you to stand up in your both feet, you’ll be able and to keep on your journey wearing a great smile on your face!

Because of this reality, I’m a sporty man and I’ve got plenty energy to do a lot of stuff at same time. I’m a pro athlete, a judo player, teaming up with one of the greatest futebol clubs in Portugal – Sport Lisboa e Benfica. Being hired to this club was the biggest change of my life because now I have all the support I need to get trough the road and to try to qualify myself for the next Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro.

Apart all of this, I love books related with human development, philosophy and psychology; I do like writing and to create new projects.





 A judo player in love with fashion world

I fell in love with the modeling business when I was eighteen. It was a bit weird, I guess. Actually, for me, the priority is my career as a judo player, because it is something really special to be able to compete and to get the opportunity to represent the colors of my nation. It is something that I cannot even put into words! However, I think the fashion industry is always an option that is laying on the future. For me, this is a sort of magic world, because the designers, the photographers, the stylists, and so on, all this people involved in this world, are artists who express their feelings throughout the passion they’ve got for the business.


I do believe Sports have the power to make the difference in the world and that’s why we, as human beings, should want to get the most of life and to follow and try to find some  inspiration  to overcome obstacles and to conquer dreams. In my opinion, mixing athletes with the modeling business is such a potent match!


Behind “the look”, as you said, there is always a fantastic story of career and life that can inspire nations. That’s why when I’m shooting an editorial or a campaign, I try to put a deep meaning on it, using my soul and personality in order to make the others see me as I am, as a person, and try to tell a story where people can find a message of belief and hope. 

Célio, a fashionista?


Well, I do like to know what is trendy or not but, at the same time, I don’t like to wear all the trendy clothes. In my opinion, just because some are art pieces.  I see clothing in this way – and that doesn’t mean they will fit me in the best way. As I said, I am sporty and my style is a mix between some more classic and sportive clothes. That’s my style! Being comfortable is a matter to me.  

Therefore, when I’m hanging around, I like to wear something elegant and, at the same time, I like to mix it with something that will make my look more relaxed. For special occasions, I set the bar a little bit higher and try to get the vavavavum effect when I look at myself in the mirror. 

On show business and the most important things for his life 

For me, apart all the benefits you can get from it, it is an opportunity to show the others they also can get there and can conquer their dreams. That’s my purpose in life: to try to inspire others to look at difficulties as stairs, to walk thought them and achieve happiness.  

Between judo, fashion, friends, family and nature I would choose my family because they taught me one valuable thing: that I could be whatever I want to!



 Imagine u a famous judo player surrounded by a huge crowd! How u´d handle it? 

Honestly, I do not know how I would react and handle myself in such occasion. I’m a bit shy, so I hope something like that would never happen to me! If such situation was real, I guess I would try to enjoy the warmth of the crowd. 

And what about the fans around the world?

One of the important stuff Judo gave me was the unique experience to know and to travel around the whole world and to be connected with different cultures and ways of thinking. Every people and every nation have something that you can learn from, which will help you to improve yourself as a person.

For example, when I visited Japan for the first time, I learned how important is to be able to get the capacity of thinking about yourself and try to find a formula to get the true meaning of life. This lesson is something that I’ll keep forever on my heart. To have people who like my personality and work in different parts of the world is such a great gift   because   it   means   I   am   able   to   spread   a   little   bit   of   my   essence   and   roots   to   others. 

Posing to photographers: always a pleasure experience

First of all, when I’m shooting I like to know what the mood of the story I might play is. After that, it comes what I like the most: to set a song on my mind and then let my body flow onto the music, in order to be more expressive and clear as possible. It is always good to be on the backstage, since you have the opportunity to meet nice and interesting people. For me it is always a funny experience!





Superpowers and Super heroes 

I’d like to fly, because when I’m laying on my bed dreaming or imagining something I get a really good feeling, and also, I guess it would be a really nice thing to do if we could grab some wings and fly throughout the sky to achieve freedom. I think people will be happier, if they were able to do it. 

I would also like to get a power that would allow me to put an end to the poverty in the world. It is something that damages my soul so badly!

 My superhero is my mom because I know the importance that she has on my life and without her I will be othing! 

Atracting someone´s attention and enjoying the best of life 

I try to give an intense look straight to their eyes. To have fun I like to make some jokes about myself with my friends.

Fav body part and why 

My legs are my favorite part of my body because I find them elegant.




Fav underwear       for   your daily        activities and  for   those       coooool       sexy moments (lol!) 

As I’m always doing sports and different things in different environments, I usually like to wear some sporty and comfortable underwear. For those sexy moments… I prefer to keep it on secret J

 Earliest childhood memory 

I remember when I was a little baby my mom used to wrap myself on a very soft blue towel. If I close my  eyes I could even now to feel that amazing sensation.

  Nickname in school 

In school my colleagues used to call me “Celinho”.

 Music and Food 

My favorite singer is Beyoncé because I think she is a really strong woman who has been inspiring nations all over the world, in order to empower them and give them a message of strength. When I read some of her lyrics, I do find myself on them! On my iPod, I have tons of African songs and music because for me it is so important to be connected with my culture and their feelings.

 My favorite food is a traditional Portuguese plate called “Arroz de Pato”. It is a yummy food that contains grilled rice with duck. It’s delightful! I think you guys should try it next time you visit Portugal!


Guilty Pleasure

I love Nutella. I can even finish a cup within a few moments. It’s crazy! 

Yourself in 10 years  

When I think about the future, I picture myself still pursing my athlete career. I imagine myself as a motivational speaker, as well, and to be graduated on a marketing and communication related issue

If you weren´t a model you´d be…. 

I would probably be a writer. To be honest, I would like to find inspiration to write a book.


An unforgettable moment‐  

When I was placed as 7th place on the Worlds Champion in Rio de Janeiro (2013) when I was still a junior. It was a big moment for me!


My mom taught me this: “You can be whatever you want to be”. During my whole life I kept this motto inside of me and it helps me on the toughest moments, when everything seems to be impossible to be done.

Next chapters


Well, actually I’m working hard on a very special project. I can tell you it is something related with dreams, and I’m improving my writing because I’d like to participate at a writing contest. 

And when you´ll come to my world buddy? ‐ I´m sure you´ll have a real good time under the Brazilian tropical sun! 

Wow… What a beautiful images! First of all, I would like to congratulate Mrs.Alex Uchôa for being such a talented photographer! You know, when I was child I used to watch Brazilian soap operas on TV and I always wanted to go to Brazil. I was there two times, during competition, and I loved the culture and people, although I find the weather on summer a little bit hot. Well, if I qualify myself for the Olympics I would get the opportunity to visit you, on August 2016, not just to compete but also to explore the country a little bit more.

Célio Dias

Contact info

Modeling pics by the following photographers:

Isabel Pinto –
Heike Himmel –
Sara Pinheiro –
Frederico Martins –
Artur Cabral –
José Ferreira –


Interview by Ed, the brazilian editor


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