Rebeca Andrade takes gold, makes history in Brazilian gymnastics

Brazilian gymnast Rebeca Andrade, 22, made her name in history by winning the gold medal in the vault competition this Sunday (1). It is the first gold medal that women’s gymnastics in Brazil receives at the Olympic Games, and Rebecca’s second medal in this edition of the Games, held in Tokyo, Japan. The athlete’s balance may still increase. She will compete this Monday in the solo final and has a real chance of stepping up on the podium.

With an average of 15,083, Rebeca was followed by the American Mykayla Skinner(14,916) and the South Korean Yeo Seojeong (14,733), standing out as, so far, the first Brazilian to win two medals in the same Olympic edition, including the gold this Sunday. The previous record belonged to Mayra Aguiar, from Judo, and former volleyball setter Fofão, with three medals in different editions. The only Brazilian to win three medals in the same event was the canoeist Isaquias Queiroz, in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

::Rebeca Andrade is the 1st Brazilian to have an Olympic medal in artistic gymnastics::

Rebeca Andrade already made history on Thursday(26), by winning the silver medal in the all-around to the sound of Baile de Favela. Speaking to journalists in Tokyo, shortly after winning the Gold medal, the athlete was surprised with so many records being surpassed: “I didn’t know that, but I feel very proud of myself, because I can represent the strength of women. People know. how difficult it is to be here, so imagine how difficult it is to bring two medals”.

Inspiration

The victories in Tokyo crown a trajectory marked by many difficulties and overcoming. Rebeca Andrade comes from the outskirts of Guarulhos, in São Paulo. A woman, black and looking for a place in sports, the athlete took her first steps in gymnastics through a social project. She went to training accompanied by her brother, on foot. In addition to economic and social adversities, Rebeca underwent three knee surgeries. And it was to the sound of Baile de Favela, composed by MC João, that she achieved the greatest feat of Brazilian gymnastics in Olympic games.

Rebeca’s journey is a great inspiration for new athletes and an important incentive for girls to become more and more interested in sports practices. This is what Jane Moura, president of the NGO Empowers – Social Transformation through Sport, finds, which supports girls in social vulnerability through sport.

“These achievements have a gigantic symbolism, to serve as a model, with reference, for many girls from the periphery. It is very important for them to be able to project themselves in this place and see that it is a possible place,” said the activist, in an interview with the program Central of Brazil.

no investment

Athletes like Rebeca Andrade swim against a current of negligence and lack of investment. According to data obtained by the newspaper Estado de S. Paulo, the Bolsa Atleta program, run by the former Ministry of Sports, recorded between 2017 and 2021 the lowest budget compared to the previous Olympic cycle, a drop of 17%.

::Article | Tokyo Olympics: sport reaffirming its sociopolitical role::

Other Brazilian representatives in Tokyo, who did not get good results, warned of the lag in the country. For women, the scenario is still tough. A survey carried out by the Ministry of Sports shows that 34.8% of girls give up on pursuing a career in some sport.

“When we talk about gender inequalities, we are talking about inequalities that are structural. They are embedded in our society. Girls go through barriers, which range from lack of encouragement to difficulties with household chores. that they don’t have time or space to practice a sporting activity”, analyzed Jane Moura, from the NGO Empodera.

Edition: Vinícius Segalla

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