Stephen Gibbs reports on Brazilian Rhythmic Gymnast Natália Gaudio as part of CCTV’s profiles of Olympic hopefuls from across Latin America.
Brazilian rhythmic gymnast Natália Gaudio inspired by deceased teammateStephen Gibbs reports on Brazilian Rhythmic Gymnast Natália Gaudio as part of CCTV's profiles of Olympic hopefuls from across Latin America.
Four times Brazilian champion and four times South American champion Gaudio is well known in Brazil.
She carries the hopes of the host nation in the sport of rhythmic gymnastics.
The competition involves perfecting four disciplines: The hoop, the ball, the clubs, and the crowd favorite, the ribbon.
Natália will be performing her set to a samba rhythm.
“I think that for the public it is the most beautiful apparatus, the most beautiful to watch on TV. Everybody loves the ribbon,” Gaudio said.
She began dedicating herself to the sport at age nine. When she was 13, she went to Bulgaria, where she trained with the national team.
Back in Brazil she was soon winning medals Her success has involved overcoming many challenges, including personal ones.
In 2012 Natália was in a car accident with her best friend Duda Mello de Queiroz, a star gymnast. Duda died in the incident.
Today, Duda’s mother is Gaudio’s coach.
“For me the experience that I can pass on to Natália is to look in her eyes every day and say: Duda is here with us and you have to be happy because Duda is happy, wherever she is,” Coach Monika Queiroz said.
When she takes to the floor in Rio, Natália says she will perform as if Duda is there with her.
She will give it her all. For her best friend, and for her country.