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June 06, 2020

Loving the rivalry Greaux wants revenge on Richards at 2021 Champs

Kyle Greaux and Jereem “The Dream” Richards are Trinidad and Tobago teammates. The 200-metre sprinters…
June 06, 2020

What is the colour of power?

I hadn’t intended to write a word; my feelings were raw and I felt that…
June 06, 2020

Power over pain Baptiste, Greaux push past the lactic

The pain associated with lactic acid build up in the muscles is all too familiar…
June 03, 2020

Do not flinch in the face of adversity

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s announcement that phase three of the reopening of the T&T…
June 03, 2020

An open letter to sport #BlackLivesMatter

Citizens across the world have mobilised to stand up for equal rights, for freedom, fairness,…
June 02, 2020

Rolf Bartolo - A man of integrity

Tributes keep pouring in for Rolf Bartolo from different quarters in Trinidad and Tobago. On…
June 01, 2020

Lewis: Sport can be key in covid19 recovery

BRIAN LEWIS, president of the TT Olympic Committee (TTOC), says that sports can play a…

Tokyo 2021 #1YearToGo

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UPCOMING OLYMPIC GAMES

T&T OLYMPIC TEAM TTO PARTNERS

RAFAELA SILVA’S JUDO GOLD REPRESENTS THE LATEST CHAPTER IN A FAIRYTALE RISE FOR AN ATHLETE WHO HAILS FROM RIO’S NOTORIOUS CITY OF GOD FAVELA, ONE OF THE POOREST AND MOST DANGEROUS NEIGHBOURHOODS IN THE COUNTRY.

The 24-year old judoka, who toppled top seed Sumiya Dorjsuren of Mongolia in the final of the women's -57kg, sparked joyous celebration in the Carioca Arena 2 and across the country. Not only was it a landmark moment for Brazil, which was able to celebrate its first gold of the Games, it was also a wonderful triumph for the ability of sport to transform lives.

Rafaela is a graduate of the Instituto Reação, an NGO founded by fellow Brazilian judoka Flávio Conto, himself an Olympic bronze medallist at Athens 2004, in order to use sport as a tool for social inclusion.

It was there that Rafaela honed her judo skills, and according to her sister, Raquel, herself a judoka, enrolling at the institute transformed their lives. “Before I or my sister got into judo, we were pretty rebellious. We weren’t interested in going to school, and sport radically changed our lives. It was transformational, like water to wine.”

As Rafaela reveals, seeing her mentor Conto return from Athens with an Olympic medal was the moment when “the penny began to drop” that she too could achieve great things if she worked hard enough. In 2013, she clinched a world title, and now, four years after a disappointing early exit from London 2012, she was delighted to be climbing to the top step of the Olympic podium.

“I thank everyone who cheered for me. The people who saw my suffering daily know I did not like to train. But I think no one has trained more than me in this Olympic cycle,” reflected Rafaela. Rafaela's mother, one of several family members on hand in the Carioca Arena 2 to cheer her on, added: “She deserves this a lot… She is a unique warrior. A warrior of gold.”

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