In a taxi, I was trying to escape from the strong sun. We were three hungry students on their way to a restaurant. We were talking about our teachers, the Brazilian Soccer Championship and our love stories. Unforgettable school times… But then, suddenly, a strange voice interrupted us. It was the driver. He asked for silence so that he could listen to the radio. We shrunk ourselves in the back seat to get the news with him: Brazil would be the host country of the Olympics and the Paralympics in that distant year called 2016. It was on October 2nd, 2009. I was 15 years old. Almost seven years later, I could never imagine that these news would have so much to do with me.
A lot has happened meanwhile. I finished high school, I graduated in journalism and I had the opportunity to make incredible experiences. I worked on radio and TV, I learned a lot. I just never thought that I would face my first great coverage so soon! For me, the Jornal Paralímpico is a mix of dream and truth, utopia and fulfillment. It is a world apart in the world of journalism: recent graduates accredited to one of the greatest events on the planet.
There were special moments. The pleasure of watching a great victory of Brazil men's Goalball team in its debut, for example. But also the frustration of watching the same team losing by 10-1 in the semifinal.
I was close to those incredible human beings whose inspiring stories started form their determination. I noticed that as they are human as any of us, they always have something to teach. And that's what I'll take from this experience. The certainty that telling stories pays off.
Leonardo Levatti, 21 years, from Rio de Janeiro.