Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Brazilian boccia champions Pinto celebrates birthday at Paralympics

Paralympic champion Dirceu Pinto of Brazil celebrated his 28th birthday at the Beijing Paralympics after he had a good taste of gold medal in boccia individual BC4 competition one day before.

Pinto was moved to tears after he finished the a match in Mixed Pairs BC4 category, when about 1000 spectators in the venue Fencing Hall, sang "happy birthday" for him.

"I didn't even realize it was my birthday because of the time change between here and Brazil. Thank you, Beijing," Pinto said.

On behalf of all the working staff and volunteers in the FencingHall, the venue manager Song Liandi gave Pinto a bunch of roses and a Beijing Paralympic mascot as birthday gifts.

"We had planned to give him a birthday cake but it is not convenient to bring it on the court, because there are still several matches left today," Song told Xinhua.

"We hope he can have some cakes in the Paralympic Village."

Pinto beat Leung Yuk-wing of Chinese Hong Kong 3-1 on Tuesday in the final of BC4 category and he thought winning the gold was the start of his birthday celebration.

"The gold medal is the best birthday gift I've ever had," he said.

"My coaches, family, and friends all have a piece of this medal. Not just the ones here, but everyone back in Brazil as well."

Source: Xinhua

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