At 1m92 tall, with a wide smile, a fan of Naruto, Darlan Souza has already signed up for the Brazilian volleyball team. Top scorer at the Pan American Games in Santiago so far, it’s impossible for him (and us) not to dream of a gold medal. But the biggest prize he had on the afternoon of this Thursday, 2nd, during the last training session before the semi-final, on Friday: the presence of Dona Cida, his mother, who arrived in Chile by surprise.
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“I was so nervous, so excited to be able to be in this game… I’ve never watched a match like this, so important, the size of this competition”, she said, minutes before being able to hug her son.
See images of Darlan and Alan Souza
The brothers play for the Brazilian volleyball team
The meeting, of course, was full of eyes wet with emotion and the laughter that was very characteristic of the two. Darlan is the spitting image of Cida. Even in the way. She is expansive, talkative. He’s electric, full of attitude. So much so that, at 21 years old, the player has assumed the position of team leader. It couldn’t be any different. He inherited resourcefulness and determination from his mother.
Darlan from volleyball is surprised by his mother’s presence at the Pan de Santiago in the last training session before
“”I honestly always knew he played well, but knowing that he was going to be representing Brazil so beautifully, I thought it would happen, but not now, so soon. As a mother, I’m a little scared of my son. But it’s really beautiful, for us to see that a son who said, I’m going to be a player, is hard-working, dedicated, who knows he can play well”, he says.
Dona Cida, who has already won the hearts of Brazilian fans, had never left the country. She was invited to surprise the athlete at a Clube de Férias event, run by Stella Barros Turismo, one of the sponsors of the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB). His son Alan, who lives in Poland and also plays for the national team (but not in this Pan), was the one who helped with this task. “I didn’t really believe it, no. It was only when the team showed up at my house”, confesses Cida.
She arrived in Santiago on day 1, a little after Brazil beat Cuba, going first in the group and going straight to the semi. Darlan, once again, was the hero of the match. Who accompanies her is her best friend, Waldelice da Costa, resident of the South Zone of Rio, who often fed Darlan, because between one training session and another at Fluminense, where he played as a youth player, the boy had no way to go to home, in Nilópolis, Baixada Fluminense, and barely had money for lunch.
Darlan and Alan’s mother will be at the semifinal game and already warns: “I’m noisy, I talk a lot, if the judge calls something that I think is wrong, I scream, I curse. If Darlan is replaced by the coach, I draw attention I’m not standing still”, he warns.
Volleyball, she says, completely changed her family’s life: “I’ll tell you something, I gained a lot from the sport in my children’s lives. Not only in the financial sense. But in their maturity, their reasoning, they think of a more whimsical way to solve problems, they are always with their family. Sport brings that, unity.”
The teacher says that at home she has a special place for the trophies and medals of her champion children. “Not to brag, but I have two athletes from the Brazilian team at home, right?! And I have a piece of furniture full of trophies and I keep the medals in two boxes, one for each one”, she says, who already has plans for a long-awaited Pan 2023 gold medal: “I’m not going to let Darlan take it with him, no. I’m going to want it for myself! One day I want to make a painting with all his medals and put it on the wall; It’ll look beautiful, won’t it? “. Go, Dona Cida, it will be beautiful!