Rio gold medal winner Rafaela Silva makes history, has a girlfriend

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Judo champion Rafaela Silva is making history as Brazil’s first Gold Medal winner in this year’s Summer Olympics as well as the first female world champion in the sport.

Judo - Olympics: Day 3Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

It’s also come out that Rafael has a very supportive girlfriend of three years, Thamara Cezar, who she met while training at Flavio Canto’s Reaction Institute.

 

A photo posted by Rafaela Silva (@rafaelasilvaa) on


Roughly translated, Rafaela speaks highly of her partner and her support:

“Sometimes she knew I was tired in training and tried to minimize the situation. She was there on the day and knew what I went when I was tired and when I wasn’t. All I needed was her to be there on hand to do, so she’s very important. ” 

Rafaela’s win was celebrated by chants of “Rafa” from fans in the crowd who know her story and humble beginnings from “the slums of Cidade de deus, a violence-plagued favela in Rio de Janeiro that she called home as a child.” She found Judo at the age of five and excelled. She competed in the 2012 Olympics but was disqualified for an illegal leg grab in a match with Hungary’s Hedvig Karakas.

Judo - Olympics: Day 3Photo by William Volcov/LatinContent/Getty Images

On Monday, Rafaela beat Dorjsürengiin Sumiya of Mongolia in the 57-kilogram division and won over reigning champ Kaori Matsumoto of Japan, who took home the bronze.

Judo - Olympics: Day 3Photo by David Finch/Getty Images

Congrats to Rafaela on her historic win!

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