A gold medal-winning Brazilian judo champion has come out publicly as gay in an interview during the Rio Olympics.
Rafaela Silva, who won the country’s first gold medal at Rio 2016, came out publicly in the interview with Globo Sports after winning her medal.
She hit the headlines when winning the first medal for Brazil at the 2016 games, after failing to secure a medal at London 2012, but none mentioned her sexual orientation.
Outsports reports that two journalists have confirmed that Silva is in a relationship with Thamara Cezar, and that Silva had not spoken about her relationship in interviews about her medal, but that she regularly posts photos of the pair together on Instagram.
The account is full of pictures of the couple and messages like “you do not exist without me.”
In the interview with Globo Sports, Silva discusses that Cezar is her press agent and social media manager as well as her girlfriend, and that the couple have three “kids”, their dogs.
The Olympian also thanks Cezar for being the for her during her training.
“She was there every day and knew how I was feeling, when I was sick when I wasn’t,” Silva said. “Everything I needed, she was there to do it, so she is also very important in this victory.”
Silva rose from Rio’s City of God slum and faced racism on her rise to becoming an Olympian.