Paralympics Diary : The Paralympic Games are for everybody

Junior reporter Guilhelme Longo enjoys the Paralympic Games in Rio to the fullest. He had just graduated from college before his work for the Jornal Paralímpico began.

Guilherme Longo
Guilhelme Longo describes how impressive the Paralympic Games in Rio are.
Guilhelme Longo describes how impressive the Paralympic Games in Rio are.Foto: Thilo Rückeis

I graduated from college just a week before the Paralympics’ Opening Ceremony. So, I can say that this is my first real job as a journalist. And I could not have started better.

I have always been a sports fan, specially auto racing. During the Olympic Games, I’m one of those people that glue themselves in the sofa to watch everything  that is being broadcasted. From football to badminton. From volleyball to BMX Cycling. And ever since I started in college, my interest for sports journalism have only grown, due to the contact with the área.

This was one of the reasons that led me to sign up for the Jornal Paralímpico Project. It was kind of a funny story. I discovered this opportunity two days before the deadline, through a friend’s Facebook post. I had to hurry to be able to finish all the paperwork in time. But in the end it all worked out.

I’m enjoying this opportunity to the fullest. Because, how many people can say that they had their first experience as a graduated journalist covering one of the biggest sport events in the world? The Games are an amazing chance to get to know the athletes, tell their stories and shine a light on questions regarding Paralympic Sports that often don’t get the attention they deserve. How they started, their training conditions and especially what this moment means to them.

It’s kind of a surreal thing that Brazil is going on. In a short space of five years, we held the most important sport events of the world: the World Cup, the Confederations Cup, the Olympics and now, the Paralympics. Even with all the problems we may have right now in our country, the brazilian crowd is putting on a really beautiful show. That is what is making me the happiest. Who would have thought that after the August news, saying that only 12% of the tickets have been sold, that on Saturday, the Barra Olympic Park would have it’s biggest crowd ever, with more than 160 thousand people? It’s really beautiful to the see the seats filled in the arenas and the spectators cheering not only for the brazilians, but for all athletes and the sport.

“Hi, could you explain to me how this sport works?”, asked me a woman that was watching Fencing in the Carioca Arena 3, while I was finishing this text. It was really nice to see the people’s interest of the event, even if they

didn’t know what was going on. It shows how important these Games are not only for the athletes, but for everybody.

Rio 2016: Porträts der Redakteure

Porträts Wer berichtet für den Tagesspiegel von den Paralympics 2016 in Rio de Janeiro? Die Porträts der Redakteure finden Sie hier.