Brazil’s Bruna Alexandre trains during the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023. The one-armed 28-year-old athlete, who starts competing at the Pan American Games on Thursday, is pushing to make it to Brazil’s national team for both Olympics and Paralympics. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix)Brazil’s Bruna Alexandre trains during the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023.
Brazil’s No. 3 women’s table tennis player, Alexandre will be the first athlete from the Americas to join that exclusive group it if she is picked for the Olympic team. Her spot at the Paralympics is already secured.
“I always had sports in my life, like indoor soccer, skateboarding, cycling,” Alexandre told The Associated Press in Santiago this week. “I started at table tennis at age 7 just because my brother was playing and I had to call him back home.” headtopics.com
During practice in Santiago, analysts said Alexandre doesn’t have as much mobility and footwork as other players and her one-handed serve is not as effective. But she has powerful hits and plays defense well.
She has played Paralympic sports since age 13. She moved from southern city of Criciuma to Sao Caetano near Sao Paulo at age 16. She has worked with Brazil’s Olympic team, which currently has one of the few players in the world who can challenge the top Chinese players, Hugo Calderano. headtopics.com
“I am hoping for gold at the Paralympics, but the Olympics do make me dream,” she said. “I can barely believe this could happen. I have to work on my mindset to get it done. Very few athletes can do that, it is very hard for someone like me to reach the Olympics.”