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Rebeca Andrade, the gymnast who came out of a favela and defied injuries to shine at the Tokyo 2020 Games

2021-07-30T00:15:10.307Z

Made history for Brazil by winning the silver medal in the all around artistic gymnastics 07/29/2021 7:21 PM Clarín.com sports Updated 07/29/2021 7:21 PM Brazilian gymnast Rebeca Andrade had her grand prize in a career marked by obstacles and injuries by winning the silver medal in the general contest of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. At 22 years old, this young woman of humble origin born in Guarulhos , on the outskirts of São Paulo, secured for the first time a place on the podium o



07/29/2021 7:21 PM

  • Clarín.com

  • sports

Updated 07/29/2021 7:21 PM

Brazilian gymnast

Rebeca Andrade

had her grand prize in a career marked by obstacles and injuries by winning the silver medal in the general contest of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. At 22 years old, this young woman of humble origin born in Guarulhos , on the outskirts of São Paulo, secured for the first time a place on the podium of women's gymnastics for her country.

Andrade was the favorite after the defection of the American Simone Biles.

And he still did not say his last word: the next few days he will play the women's jump finals, solo and beam in balance and will go for that gold that was denied him after two small failures in the floor exercise and that tipped the balance to the side. by Sunisa Lee in the All Around that celebrates the best gymnast in the world.

Such a position was unthinkable two years ago, when she underwent

her third operation for ruptured ligaments in one knee.

But nothing that could discourage a young woman accustomed to overcoming all setbacks since she

first entered a gymnasium, at 4 years of age, thanks to a social project of the Guarulhos mayor's office

.


Rebeca Andrade works magic on the balance beam at the Ariake Gymnastics Center in Tokyo.

Photo: Loic VENANCE / AFP

Daianinha de Guarulhos


Already on her first day, she earned the nickname

Daianinha de Guarulhos

, alluding to

Daiane dos Santos

, the Brazilian gymnast who won 9 gold medals at world championships between 2003 and 2006.

She was his constant inspiration and this Thursday he was excited to see the role of his disciple.

 "For a long time they told us that there could not be a black gymnast. That black women could not do some sports. And today we see the first medal in gymnastics for a black girl. There is a huge representation behind that,"

Dos Santos said during the transmission of competition.

With a mother who worked as a domestic worker and ran a household of eight children, Rebeca was forced to suspend her training

"when money tightened."

But her coaches, who saw her full potential, organized to take her to the Gym.

At the age of 9, he went to train for a year in Curitiba and a year later he signed for Flamengo de Rio de Janeiro.


Family, the tattoo that Rebeca Andrade has on her neck.

Photo: DPA

"I always saw my story as a process of improvement because I went through very difficult things

,

" he

told the Brazilian media on Thursday after climbing to the second step of the podium.

And he added:

"I did not get here alone, I had many people helping me and a lot of spiritual help from God

.

"

In 2012, at just 13 years old, she won the Brazil Artistic Gymnastics Trophy, beating legends such as Daniele Hypólito or Jade Barbosa, in her first championship as a professional.

"It was then that my name began to be better known," he

recalls.


or year was 2009 and Rebeca knew badly or that Viria peels in front, it is only chorar 😭 pic.twitter.com/A6Cf8gjsTB

- Lyla (olimpiader até 08/08) (@lyladantas) July 29, 2021

Far from turning her back on her origins, Rebeca brings the references of a popular and marginalized Brazil to competitions.

In qualifying for the Tokyo final, he did the solo tests to the rhythm of the funk melody

Baile de favela

, by

MC Joa

o. And in this Thursday's test he chained the

Tocata and Fugue in D minor

 by

Johann Sebastian Bach

with the popular Rio rhythm .


When her degree ends,

Rebeca wants to dedicate herself to the performing arts

.

"I think I have an artistic side and I will do well," he

said in 2016 in an interview with the digital medium Clickguarulhos.

Angelina Melnikova, Sunisa Lee and Rebeca Andrade on the podium hoping to have Simone Biles again.

Photo: EFE

Rebecca's dreams and nightmares

In her international debut as an adult, in 2015, she achieved bronze in the World Cup stage held in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in asymmetrical parallels, although she immediately began to suffer one of the worst experiences in the world of sport: injuries.

In 2015, 2017 and 2019 her knees forced her to undergo surgery

.

"I grew a lot with all that. My maturation was very great, as a person and an athlete. It is not that I like having gone through those moments of injury, but it was essential to grow," he

said last year in a live of the Brazilian Confederation of Gymnastics.


The last surgery, in 2019, took her 8 months away from the sport.

But the postponement of the Tokyo Games due to the coronavirus pandemic gave him time to regain his level.

Rebeca Andrade and the perfect smile during the competition this Thursday.

Photo: DPA

In 2016, after her first operation, she achieved gold in the jump in the Koper World Cup stage, before her debut at the Olympic Games, in Rio de Janeiro, where she finished 11th.

After making history in Tokyo, five years later, Andrade addressed the little gymnasts whom he inspires today:

"Don't give up, believe in your dreams and stand firm. We will always face difficulties, but we have to be strong enough to overcome them

.

"

Source: AFP

Look also

Sunisa Lee won gold in the artistic gymnastics all around and is the heir to Simone Biles at Tokyo 2020

Simone Biles: "The torrent of love that I received shows me that I am more than my results"

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2021-07-30

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