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Images of  Jose Vitor Leme from Fort Worth Unleash The Beast PBR.

PBR World Champion Motivated By Newborn Son

Mar 082021

After the birth of his son, defending PBR World Champion Vitor Leme said he has more to compete for this season than in 2020 when he captured his first gold buckle and the $1 million bonus that comes with it.

“Now it’s very different for me because with my baby all my life changes now,” said Leme, in an interview with CBS Sports Network. “So, I’m very happy, very confident here because I have another reason to do my job.

“I hope to continue my work and do my job well and bring something happy for him.”

A couple of weeks prior to his son’s birth, Leme broke his right ankle just two seconds into his first attempt of the 2021 season back in January. He missed six weeks, but the injury gave him time to spend with family.

Though it was unplanned, it was a welcomed opportunity to spend time with his wife and newborn and, yes, his son proved to be quite the motivation.

Leme was 2-for-3 this past weekend in Fort Worth, Texas, with a pair of 90-plus point scores and earned his first elite televised PBR event win. He went from unranked to ninth in the world in a matter of one event.


The Monster Energy rider opened the Fort Worth event with 91 points Hundred Bad Days before clinching the win the next night with a spectacular 94.75 points on Woopaa — the same bull he rode for 95.75 points to clinch his world title back in November — that brought the Cowtown Coliseum crowd to its feet.


“This is amazing,” said Leme, after winning. “This is my first event, officially, this year. I am just so happy because I stay out about 40 days and now I come after recovery and I finish strong again and confident for this season.”


He later added, “I’m not supposed to be here today because the doctor expected I stay out for longer, but I work so hard training at my house (to) come here today and I am just so happy to be here today with the fans again. This is amazing.”


A title defense this November would make Leme only the second rider in PBR to repeat as World Champion.


A chance at history coupled with making his family proud led to Leme’s return to competition.

“I just come earlier than I expect,” admitted Leme. “I feel good. I feel ready. I practice some this week and I (feel) strong again. Ready to ride some bulls.”


He later added, “Just thankful for God for all this in my life. I’m very happy.”


Leme, 9, and the rest of the Monster Energy bull riders — Marco Eguchi, 10; Derek Kolbaba, 15; Cody Teel, 18; Jess Lockwood, J.B. Mauney and Chase Outlaw — will be in Glendale, Arizona, on March 12, 13 and 14 for the next elite televised PBR event.