Monday, August 27, 2012
sarah menezes, olympic independent.
sarah menezes beat defending champion alina dumitru of romania
to be the first brazilian woman ever to win gold in judo.
22yo menezes began judo at 9yo,
because she found it the least offensive sport
being offered for p.e. credit at her elementary school.
as she grew to love judo, she also learned to lie about it to her parents,
who insisted it was not a girl's sport &
being an athlete was not a proper girl's career.
luckily, this girl didn't listen.
for years, menezes had neighbors secretly deliver her to the judo studio,
told her parents she had to stay late at school in order to practice.
when menezes' coach finally met with her parents to tell them how good she was,
that she could make brazil's national team & maybe the olympics,
they finally got it. they began supporting her training,
& even solicited sponsors so she could travel to compete.
menezes did her olympic training while
working toward her bachelor's degree &
taking english-language courses.
her industriousness — & earlier sneakiness — paid off big-time,
with a gold medal
& a national first for brazilian women.