Rafaela Silva has made her country proud by winning the first gold medal of the Olympic games in judo. Overcoming poverty in Brazil’s most notorious favela, the “City of God” Silva took up the sport because she loved– and had to– fight.
According to a Sports Illustrated article chronicling her path to the Olympics, Silva “spent the first eight years of her life in the City of God, getting into fights with boys and getting expelled from school.”
Silva quickly found her love for judo and rose to fame until the 2012 London Olympics, where she was disqualified for an illegal hold during the preliminary round.
If that wasn’t enough of a disappointment, Silva came home to find her social media flooded with racial comments.
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