Rebeca Andrade has had a tough road. She’s torn her anterior cruciate knee ligament (ACL) multiple times—but that hasn’t stopped her. After a stunning performance, at 22, she’s an Olympic silver medalist.
Her July 28 routine makes her the first person in Brazilian history to win an Olympic medal in women’s gymnastics. For the Games, she is not a part of a unit, as the Brazilian team did not qualify for the first time in four years. The COVID-19 pandemic gave her another opportunity, and extra time to prep for the 2020 Tokyo Games, as she had torn her ACL in mid-2019. Her previous ACL injuries had locked her out of three World Championships.
This was Andrade’s second time at the Olympics — she also participated in 2016 where she finished in 11th place.
Her 2020 Olympics routine was a sight with minimal errors. She stepped out of bounds twice during two tumbling passes, which cost her. Overall she finished strong, less than one point behind America’s Susiana Lee, who took home the gold.
“Obrigada Deus, Obrigada [Francisco Gym], obrigada família, amigos, equipe multidisciplinar, clube e fãs! Nossa medalha veio,” Andrade wrote on Instagram. In English, her caption reads, “Thank you God, thank you [Francisco Gym], thank you family, friends, multidisciplinary team, club and fans! Our medal came!”