Uberlândia is the city of Minas Gerais with the highest number of

Brazil does well in the Tokyo Paralympics. Much of this success has the participation of Uberlândia, in the Triângulo Mineiro, city with the largest number of athletes in the Brazilian delegation, 11 of the 36 athletes in the state.

This is done by encouraging Paralympic sports in the city, through the Paradesporto program, which serves people with disabilities in the sporting sphere, from initiation to participation in regional, state, national and international competitions.

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The program, developed through a partnership between the Municipality of Uberlândia, Futel, Sesi, Federal University of Uberlândia (UFU), associations and clubs that encourage sport for people with disabilities, offers training in various sports, such as athletics, weightlifting, bocce ball, seated volleyball, seven-a-side football, swimming, parabadminton and goalball.

The squad from Uberlândia were Lara Lima (weightlifting), Mateus Carvalho (bocce), Oscar Carvalho (sports assistant of bocce), Jovanna Costa (sports assistant of bocce), Weverton Santos (coach of the Brazilian weightlifting team) and Vander Fagundes (physiotherapist ), all from the CDDU/Futel team, and Rodrigo Parreira (athletics), from Aparu/Futel.

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From Praia Clube, those called up were tennis player Gustavo Carneiro, swimmers Gabriel Bandeira, Gabriel Melone, João Pedro de Oliveira, Laila Suzigan, Ruan Felipe de Souza and Vanilton do Nascimento Filho and coach Alexandre Vieira. Also from Uberlândia, the Brazilian delegation, in addition to professor Alberto Martins da Costa, is the technical coordinator of weightlifting, Silvio Soares dos Santos.

At just 18 years old, para-athlete Lara Lima, athlete of the Sports Club for the Handicapped of Uberlândia (CDDU), a partner association of the Uberlandense Foundation for Tourism, Sport and Leisure (Futel) is the youngest weightlifting athlete among all delegations in this edition of Paralympic Games. Lara got the 7th place, lifting 88 kg, on Thursday (26).

Rodrigo Parreira, from athletics, hopes to return to Uberlândia with medals, as happened at the Paralympic Games in Rio, in 2016, when he won silver in the long jump and bronze in the 100-meter dash. Rodrigo, in the final of the long jump, was in 5th place. On Friday (3), he competes in the 100 meters dash.

On the first day of competitions, athlete Gabriel Bandeira set a Paralympic record in swimming, winning Brazil’s first gold at the Tokyo Games, in addition to receiving silver and bronze during the competition. Other achievements, also in swimming, came with Laila Suzigan and Gabriel Melone, Praia Clube athletes, who secured the bronze in the 4×50 mixed relay event.

The Brazilian delegation has 259 representatives, including para-athletes, guides, riders, goalkeepers and helmsman), 163 men and 96 women, in addition to a technical, medical and administrative commission, totaling 433 people. Rede Minas has broadcast the games, from 5:30 am to 7:30 am.

Source: BoF Minas Gerais

Edition: Wallace Oliveira

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