I have never thought I would one day be Brazil’s number 1, of going to the Olympics. My dream is to go to France and play in the Olympics for Brazil. It was a childhood dream. Yeah? And you think you will get there? I will, I am practicing. When I met my wife, she lived in this community. Instead of taking her away from here, I came to live in it. Because here I thought it was important seeing the children running and jumping around. I said “man, I can help so many people here”. He wanted to create a project to socially influence in the teens lives. In Pedro II High School, a teacher came back from Italy with two rackets and a shuttlecock. He thought it was such an alien sport. I kept looking at that racket, then I could not hold it in and said: “hey, what is that?” He answered: “badminton”.
I said: “bad what?” Man, it was love at first sight, it is so much fun. He said: “wow, this is what I want”, then he place it here. He did not know it was an Olympic sport, he did not know that it classified in the pan-american games, and it just happened. I made the earthworks with a pickaxe, I dug more than 190 holes here, with two and a half meters wide and three meters deep. Everything I saved was used to built this place. I had friends that died… …due to drug abuse. I have lost friends to crime, people that were very close to me. Amanda was the best in the state of Rio de Janeiro, she would be one of the best in Brazil. She left and died. If it were not for my father’s effort to help me out so I could do this, he wouldn’t change the children’s lives. This project saved…maybe, me… It saved many lives, it changed the destiny of a lot of kids. And changed mine… it changed mine. I was able to develop my own teaching methodology for badminton. Today we teach samba from start to finish. So you have the children here doing samba for real. This was the high point of the result of our work. We are dealing with a sport that has a fantastic foot work, and with the methodology that you deal with, moving the legs in a fun way. I want to say that today we have 23 pan americans titles, more than 30 south americans titles, three europeans. Our kids already traveled to more than 25 countries. We are raising idols here. Look at the teachers, the kids want to teach now as well. “Hey, I want to play at the Olympics, I want to be like Ygor”. He has a responsibility today of showing the communities that it is possible. I feel delighted to have this responsibility, I am aware of it. I try to help, to encourage. That feeling of victory, of you digging that hole, of building it, of seeing an athlete in the Olympics. This is the best that could happen, it is the reality of a professional. Because I know that it is hard to have opportunities to get out of the communities. To have an opportunity and conquer it. When there is one, I try to say, “Do it, that’s it, you have got a chance. So, grab it 100% because one day…” …you could turn out like me!” In 2016 I was 19, I was getting there. I just got out of the Juvenile Olympics and had an actual Olympics game, and I did it. So this shows that, it proves that I have the talent, but that… I have to work a little bit more so I can get into the best of the World. So, I am looking forward and very motivated to 2020. I want to go back to the Olympics games with a chance to really fight for the medal, to be stronger.