As if this was to be a sign, the new Brazilian idol was born in the famous Cidade de Deus (City of God), brought to the screen a few years ago by filmmaker Fernando Meirelles, who also conceived the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics. As the champion just after her title declared: “Someone like me, who comes from the City of God and started judo as a joke when I was 5 years old, to become an Olympic champion, is inexplicable." WATCH THE PARADE
Yet explanations, there are. Rafaela Silva is a fighter who put in her sport and in her performance the little that life seemed to have given her: an extraordinary mental strength and the desire to ignore adversity. In 2013, she already made the public of the Maracanazinho explode with joy when she won the first world title won by a Brazilian woman. After difficult years to get back to her best level, one competition day was enough to propel the slender silhouette of Silva to the firmament of world sports when she was not even seeded in the morning of the Olympic tournament.
It is perched on a fire truck that Rafaela Silva, all fresh Olympic champion, went back this week in the favela where she was born and where she grew up amid the traffickers and the violence. The image is strong. Welcomed with open arms by everyone, by young people who now have a role model to follow and by all those parents who dream of seeing their children follow the same path paved by the world and Olympic gold.
Rafaela Silva explained:
The President of the International Judo Federation Mr. Marius Vizer said:
Last March, the Judo For the World series met the future Olympic champion. Full of determination, she explained the battles she had the lead. She could not then imagine the triumphant welcome that was reserved for her in the heart of the City of God. WATCH THE FILM