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July 04, 2020

Matthews and Collett Banned From Olympics

MUNICH, West Germany, Sept. 8 — The International Olympic Committee barred today two United States…
July 04, 2020

Vincent Matthews and Wayne Collett: A Most Casual Protest With Most Striking Consequences

They stood there casually, one barefoot, hands on hips, the other in thoughtful repose, right…
July 04, 2020

Athletes Will Be Banned From Protesting at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. But the Games Have…

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced new guidelines on Thursday that ban athletes from making…
July 04, 2020

RESOLUTION OF THE IOC EXECUTIVE BOARD WITH REGARD TO RACISM AND INCLUSION

The IOC stands for non-discrimination as one of the founding pillars of the Olympic Movement,…
July 01, 2020

Lewis highlights racial discrimination and gender inequality in sports

"Olympic Order is the Olympic Movement highest award for distinguished contributions to sports. The list…
June 29, 2020

Black Lives Matter movement brings ex-IOC President Brundage under new scrutiny

When the Olympic Games were last held in Tokyo, American multi-millionaire Avery Brundage was President…
June 27, 2020

Opinion: Equality still remains an elusive goal

My professional life has been defined by three principles: excellence, integrity, equality. They were bred…

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Matthews and Collett Banned From Olympics https://t.co/zlpM29GOhQ
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Vincent Matthews and Wayne Collett: A Most Casual Protest With Most Striking Consequences https://t.co/KBV4TV5dm1
Saturday, 04 July 2020 19:14
Athletes Will Be Banned From Protesting at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. But the Games Have a Long History of Political… https://t.co/gVIY0fZt5q
Saturday, 04 July 2020 18:30
RESOLUTION OF THE IOC EXECUTIVE BOARD WITH REGARD TO RACISM AND INCLUSION https://t.co/dsIbvXX5ai
Saturday, 04 July 2020 16:34

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UPCOMING OLYMPIC GAMES

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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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