Andrade, fifth in the free body final, was the first Brazilian gymnast to medal (in Rio), with the first earnings she bought an apartment for her family, in Tokyo in the competition after 3 serious injuries: “Here after difficult moments, with the help of my family and God “
Two and a half hours on foot a day, from his home in Guarulhos in the favelas of San Polo to the gym funded by a social project. Rebeca Andrade’s long journey started from there already in history, the 22-year-old Brazilian gymnast dominated the women’s vault and won silver in the general competition, the first female gymnastics medals for her country. And today she finished fifth just a stone’s throw from the podium of the free body final, in which our Vanessa Ferrari won the silver medal.
Little money and food to share with 7 brothers, the maid with modest income, Rebeca brought her story to the platform. The bodyweight routine is set to “Baile de favela”, MC Joao’s Brazilian funk music. “I’m black and I will represent black, white, brown, all colors … green, yellow. Sport It has to represent everyone. People admire you, they want to be you, like you, “he said.” So do your best for yourself and for others. And I think I did it by bringing my music here. ”
At the age of 4 they accompanied her to the gym, they no longer knew how to stop the little girl climbing trees with the grace of a squirrel. “Rebeca came with her aunt to the gym, all shy. When I asked her to make a move, I saw incredible talent, ”recalled her first teacher Monica Barroso dos Anjos. From the first day “Daianinha de Guarulhos” has been her nickname, in honor of Daiana dos Santos, Brazilian world champion gymnast. “For me it was like a playground. We didn’t always have the money to go to training. There was a time when my brother used to bike me to practice. My home was a long way from the gym. He did everything for me. There was a very steep hill and he wouldn’t let me get off the bike, he pushed it until we got to the gym. They did a lot for me, they did it with love and care ”.
With the first earnings he bought a new apartment for the family, in his Olympic climb he had to overcome other obstacles: three times – in 2015, 2017 and 2019, on the eve of the World Cup qualifying for Tokyo – the front crusader of the right knee. “It’s really nice because there are many people like me in Brazil – he said after the silver in the general competition -. We need help, we need people who believe in us. We need people who can see our talents and help us grow in life, so I think that’s really cool. It is important that people can choose what they want to do. It is important that people believe in talents ”. Without feeling sorry for himself, he has always considered his story as “a process of improvement because I have gone through very difficult moments. I didn’t come here alone, I had many people who helped me and a lot of spiritual help from God ”.
2 August – 14:17
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