Giba: Passion, love and work the Brazilian way

Giba is the cornerstone of Brazilian sitting volleyball

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 7 November 2022 – Gilberto Lourenco da Silva or Giba has been one of the main forces driving the Brazilian men’s national team to success for more than a decade.

Giba made it to four Paralympic Games final fours, including back-to-back fourth-place finishes at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020. However, Giba and his team have been more successful at the Sitting Volleyball World Championships, where they claimed silver at Elblag 2014 and bronze at Arnhem 2018.

As one of the veteran players in the Brazilian team, passion, love and work are his three words to live by in providing inspiration to the new generation of players.

“There are no other things that you have to apply in life or sport but passion, love and work,” Giba said.

“Maybe there are good and bad things associated with passion, so we must learn how to have a balance of it. In some moments our emotions get the better of us, but that’s the Brazilian way and it is embedded in us culturally.”

Among the things associated with Brazilian culture is its love for samba music, which puts them in rhythm and motion before the match.

“Samba is the way of life for the Brazilian people. Our love for this music moves us and motivates us. We started this ritual 12 years ago, choosing one song as our anthem for each competition to put us in a good mood to play. This is also how Brazilians enjoy sports, through rhythm and motion,” the 43-year-old Sao Paulo native said.

Giba underlined the importance of hard work, especially to the younger generation. And as one the team’s veterans, his main role at the 2022 World ParaVolley Sitting Volleyball World Championships is to push them to work hard, but also keeping their composure in crucial situations.

“We are having a great experience here at the World Championships. We have some new athletes and with a good mix, I think we can do a good job in achieving our goal in this competition,” he said.

“As an experienced athlete, I have the responsibility to tell the younger players to keep their composure especially in important moments. And even when I am in the bench, I speak to them, motivate them and advise them to follow the coach.”