Q&A WITH… IZABELA DA SILVA

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Country: Brazil

Profession: Athlete – Discus

Career highlights:

  • 2020 Olympic finalist – Discus throw
  • 2021 South American Championships gold medallist – Discus throw
  • 2016 South American U23 Championships gold medallist – Discus throw; gold medallist – Shot put              
  • 2014 South American U23 Championships gold medallist – Discus throw; silver medallist – Shot put
  • 2014 World Junior Championships gold medallist – Discus throw
  • 2013 Pan American Junior Championships old medallist – Discus throw; silver medallist – Shot put
  • 2013 South American Junior Championships gold medallist – Shot put and Discus throw
  • 2012 South American Junior Championships gold medallist – Shot put and Discus throw

Congratulations on making it to the Olympic final. Please take us through the moment when the discus is floating in the air after your throw, what thoughts go through your mind at that moment?

When that happens, I think: “go as far as possible!” and afterwards I thank God I managed to hit the mark for a throw.

We read that you played football and handball before trying athletics. What made you fall in love with discus throw and shot put?

It all started at school when my physical education teacher came to me and asked if I wanted to try throws and I said yes. He soon saw that I had a talent for it. Then I started to train and won of some competitions when I was young. Ever since then I have loved it.

You have said that Tokyo is your favourite city – what do you love most about the city?

Apart from the people, I’m in love with the culture, and the greenery in the city – there are lots of trees. The air feels so much cleaner, and it gives a feeling of peace. And of course, I love the food 😊

As the first Brazilian woman to make an Olympic Discus final, can you give you your thoughts on the importance of visibility and representation when it comes to being a woman in sport (especially for all the young girls in Brazil)?

This is so gratifying for me being the first woman to reach an Olympic final. Although I was injured and couldn’t give my 100% at the Olympics, overall, the experience I had was perfect. I hope girls look to me as an example and that I can inspire them to reach where I am and go even further. I want them to believe that one day they could win an Olympic medal if they put in the hard work and effort.

At the end of a tough training week, what is your favourite meal to cook?

I would say a nice Japanese meal, or roast chicken.

What is something about Brazilian culture that others may not know?

Besides Brazil being very liberal with things, the country itself is very beautiful with many landscapes to enjoy. The food is wonderful, each place has its different taste and different seasoning. I would say it’s a good place to think about going on vacation.

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