A badminton program in Brazil gets its “swing” from Samba

Americas Now

When it comes to sports, you probably wouldn’t equate Brazil with badminton. But in one of the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, the game is not just bringing hope to at-risk youth, it’s also producing the country’s top players.

Our Game Changer began the badminton program to keep kids from getting recruited into crime.

And to add a Brazilian twist to the story, he uses “Samba” steps to improve their footwork on the court.

Meet the founder of the NGO Miratus, Sebastiao Dias de Oliveira.

Sebastiao de Oliveira’s son Ygor Coelho de Oliveira was the first Brazilian badminton player to become a contender at the Olympics.

Although he didn’t win a medal in the Rio 2016 games, Ygor – who was raised in the favela and trained by his father – is ranked 33 in the world in badminton and lives in France.