Eyes on the ball for Gizele as she sets to her teammates in Sarajevo 2022’s gold medal match between Brazil and Canada
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 11, November 2022 – Gizele Maria da Costa Dias finally got her golden moment at the 2022 World ParaVolley Sitting Volleyball World Championships on Friday, when Brazil triumphed over Canada in the exciting five-set final.
Gizele has been with the Brazilian team for 12 years and her presence in the lineup produced two Paralympic bronze medals. In Sarajevo, the Brazilian playmaker and her teammates claimed their first world title, along with the first ticket to the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.
“It’s the first time that we have achieved what we have always wanted,” Gizele said.
“I have been with the team for 12 years now, and all this time, this moment is what we have waited for. For the first time, we will listen to our national anthem, with the Brazilian flag being raised toward the topmost place. This is probably the biggest emotion that we can all experience together.”
Gizele originally started her sitting volleyball activities as a professional athlete at club SESI/SP in Suzano, São Paulo. At the beginning, her father, a footballer, had the greatest influence on her love of sport.
At an indoor volleyball match she severely sprained her left knee, rupturing the LCA which required reconstructive surgery. She was left without feeling, movement and strength in her left leg. Her left foot does not move.
Brazilian national team coach Ronaldo Oliveira introduced her to sitting volleyball in 2009 and has been in the Brazilian national team since then. She is also an eight-time Brazilian Club Champion with the SESI/SP team.