by Wade Townsend
Not many athletes have the opportunity to play at an Olympic Games. Even fewer are able to compete at the Games in front of a home crowd.
The stars aligned for Bruna Takahashi when she was selected to represent Brazil at the Rio Olympic Games.
Takahashi was just nine years old when Rio de Janeiro’s bid won the right to hold the Games. At that time the prospect at competing would have seemed like a far off dream; but it came true.
“It was a great pleasure to participate in my first Olympic Games. Especially because it happened in my own country.” Bruna Takahashi
She had to wait for the singles events had finished before she was able to take the main stage in Rio for the Women’s Team Event.
The draw for the home nation was tough to say the least. Brazil had drawn No.1 seeds China in the first round.
In the team’s she was up in the second singles match. Her opponent was none other than Li Xiaoxia, the Women’s Singles gold medalist in London 2012.
Takahashi put up a fight, but lost in three straight games.
As experiences go, playing one of the best players in the game in front of your home crowd has to be up there with the best of them. It will be looked back on as a career shaping moment for the junior athlete.
“It was amazing, the people, the place, the crowds I’ve never seen this kind of tournament with a crowd of Brazilians. And they weren’t just cheering for the Brazilians, but the other teams as well. ” Bruna Takahashi
Takahashi is now looking towards the future and the next Olympic Games, and once again it will be a special venue for the Brazilian.
“It made me want to train more and more and to participate in the next Games. Especially because it will be in Japan, the country of my grandparents.” Bruna Takahashi
Takahashi, at only seventeen years old, can look forward to a lot more Olympic opportunities ahead of her.