Arthur Nory’s outburst after his solo performance in Tokyo had repercussions on the other side of the world, more precisely in the Itaim Paulista neighborhood, on the east side of São Paulo, in the home of Mrs. Magali’s family. She is the mother of gymnast Ângelo Assumpção, who has not been part of the select group of high performance in national sport for a long time. Since he left the gym at Esporte Clube Pinheiros, which did not renew his contract, he has not been contacted by any other team.
“My son denounced racist attitudes and has been trying all this time to find out why he has no place in Brazilian gymnastics clubs”, complains the mother of the 25-year-old athlete, who in 2015 was the target of racist offenses by Nory, who compared the color of the training partner’s skin with a garbage bag.
“Why does all other athletes’ lives go on and mine doesn’t? I haven’t been able to work for a long time: is this surreal or not?” asks Angelo, who for two years has been unable to train and do what he likes most in life: exercise your gift for sport.
Of course the pandemic harms Angelo Assumpção’s situation even more, but the truth is that he was a member of the national team and it would be fair to imagine that he would be, in normal situations, participating in these Olympic Games, in the same Gymnastics Center in Ariake, where the modality is being disputed.
“I only watched the first rotation of the competition,” said Ângelo, shortly after noon this Saturday, momentarily stopping the one and a half hour training session, which he was doing at a gym in the neighborhood near his house.
“I didn’t get to see the presentation of the Brazilian team,” he assured. “I learned about the results this morning and from the messages I received.”
“I train here at the gym so I don’t lose shape, I run too, but I don’t have space to exercise my gymnastics movements. I do a little just in my backyard”, laments the athlete, who feels like a living example of how it works racism in our country.
“The proof of structural racism: where are the businessmen, where are the clubs, where is the Federation? Of course the pandemic disrupts everything. But just for me has the world of gymnastics stopped? The world of gymnastics continues for other athletes and even for those who had racist attitudes”.
And he continues with his outburst: “It is necessary to know what is happening. Why can’t I just train? It is necessary to find solutions. The solution found by the system was to leave me aside. And my dreams? I can’t dream because I have a story of endurance? My big goal is clear: I want to continue my story in sport. I need a club to train.”
“That’s why I don’t want to talk about what’s happening in Japan. I want to go on with my life, as all the other Brazilian athletes are following. It’s everyone’s right. And it’s my right. Only my sporting life was stopped. And this one. structure needs to change: it is necessary to fight against racism”.
Asked more directly about his current situation, if he has already found a new club to compete with, if he has received concrete proposals, Ângelo explained that the conversations are only superficial: “I’m still trying to make contacts. But nothing came up that was more effective. Some conversations, but nothing more for me to be training. In my modality there is a need for space: gymnastics training needs a structure that I can’t find in the gym and I can’t maintain high performance training only in the backyard.”.
An incomprehensible situation for an athlete who spent his entire childhood defending the same club. The first problems came when he denounced racist attitudes on a Brazilian team trip in 2015.
And what affected him, so far also affects gymnast Artur Nory, who gaveuring the classification of the men’s gymnastics teams, he fell to the ground, where he was defending the bronze medal of the Rio-2016, and it didn’t go well in the fixed bar, where he is the current world champion. With that, he won’t make any finals in the Japan. After the his presentation in Tokyo, in the press room, Nory said that he competed shaken because of the demands he has received on social media as a result of his attitude of years ago: “I made a mistake and I took over”.
Without naming names, Angelo admits that mistakes were made. “But the athletes continued their lives. Mine stopped!”