Sao Paulo (AFP)
No need for a magic wand: with her skateboard and radiant smile, Rayssa Leal, nicknamed "the little fairy", conquered Brazil by becoming the youngest Olympic medalist in the country's history, at only 13 years old, winning the money Monday at the Tokyo Games.
Social networks are all for it: one of the most popular keywords on Twitter is #Euacreditoemfadas (I believe in fairies), taken up in particular by celebrities and political figures of all stripes.
It was nearly 2 a.m. in Brazil when she stepped onto the podium after the street event - won by fellow 13-year-old Japanese Momiji Nishiya - but the whole country vibrated in unison. .
“I still can't believe it, but I feel like it was a historic achievement. I know a lot of people have trained for years to be here, and it's very rewarding to bring back a medal in Brazil ", she declared at the microphone of TV Globo.
Beyond her impressive tricks (tricks), it is her attitude that charmed a whole country, with small dance steps between laps and a touching hug with the Filipina Margielyn Arda Didal, diminished during of the final because of an injury.
Born in Maranhao, a poor state in northeastern Brazil, Rayssa Leal was nicknamed "fadinha" (little fairy) at the age of seven, thanks to a video in which we see her making a "heelflip", one of the figures the most difficult of skateboarding, disguised as a blue fairy.
This video went viral around the world after it was shared by living skate legend Tony Hawk, who met it while training in Tokyo.
Her silver medal and charisma eclipsed the disappointing results of other Brazilians in this women's street event, with the early eliminations of two other podium contenders, Pamela Rosa and Leticia Bufoni.
On Twitter, the teenager's feat was hailed both by the Lula Institute, of the left-wing ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and by the deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro, one of the sons of the extreme president. right Jair Bolsonaro.
"Bravo to our little giant for this great performance and for being such a good example for young people," footballer Dani Alves wrote on Instagram, who is participating in his first Olympics with the Seleçao, at 38 years old.
The former side of FC Barcelona and Paris SG also appealed to the authorities of his country to "invest more in sport and athletes".
© 2021 AFP