I don’t mean to brag but… Actually, I do. I really do. If there is a time when bragging shouldn’t be considered a capital sin of the ego, it’ s now. As everybody knows, the 2016 Olympic Games start today and this event speaks to my heart in a very loud way. 1) Rio de Janeiro, my city, is hosting the Games and 2) my godson is a member of the Brazilian Diving team. That’s it, now tell me, how this can’t be the best Olympics ever for me?
Problems and issues aside, Rio de Janeiro is my city, period. And you know what I am talking about. Chances are, you will be touched when you see, hear and talk about anything that remind you about the place you come from. Especially if you are far away from it, which is my case. You will have a reaction – positive or negative – but you can’t deny feeling something. It’s part of who you are. I will just say that Rio will always be beautiful to me, no matter how ugly the city can be.
And then, my godson. I can’t even describe how proud I am of his achievement but the truth is, I have always been proud of him. See, I was there, from day one when my best friend decided to bring him into this world. Despite of our young age – or maybe, in spite of it – we had the tools to support and encourage his sweet, loving, independent, and easy-going personality. Leaving Brazil when he was 6 was one of the hardest things I had to do but we never lost touch. I knew that the sport would give him the focus and the discipline he needed and I witnessed when it slowly became his path in life. If you think about it, you need to have a lot of perseverance to master your skills in diving. A lot. How many hours, days, months of hard work, of going up the stairs over and over again, an athlete needs just to produce seconds of gracious and skilled free fall? Defying time, gravity, your own body? You are gold for me, Luiz Felipe Outerelo. You’ve made it. I want to see your smile today.
The Olympics are the biggest, the greatest spectacle in the world of sports and I can’t wait to see the Opening Ceremony tonight. I am excited for Brazil, for Team USA, of course, and for every athlete that it’s there, actually. It doesn’t matter what language they speak, what culture and values they hold dear. They share the same core. They are all resilient people, they know pain and sacrifice, they surpass their own limits to achieve greatness. The Games represent the best of what human beings could ever be; all the range of emotions are there but fraternity and respect prevail. We all win when our beauty makes us perfect gods and goddesses. Even it’s only for a moment.