Aug. 15, 2016 03:17PM EST
Rafaela Silva took a moment to address racist trolls from the London games during a post-victory press conference last week.
For Judoka Rafaela Silva, winning Brazil’s first gold medal at Rio is a testament to overcoming the wave of racist comments directed at her by fellow Brazilians on social media after London 2012.
<p>Silva, who is Afro-Brazilian, grew up less than 10 miles from the Olympic stadium in the notorious City of God favela. Last Monday, she dominated her Mongolian opponent <strong>Sumiya Dorjsuren</strong>—ranked the number one fighter in their weight class—to win the gold.</p><p>Growing up as a queer black woman from the slums, at the intersection of Brazil’s most marginalized communities, Silva has certainly beaten the odds stacked against her.</p><p><div class="preroll-video"></div><ora-player></ora-player></p><p>"If you are black, people in the street look at you with suspicion. If you go by someone they move their wallet away," the new Olympic champion <a href="http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/214672" target="_blank">explains</a>.</p><p>Silva’s moment of triumph served as the ultimate clap back to the racists who had called her “a monkey” after an illegal hold in a second-round match disqualified her from the London games. Their trolling caused Silva to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ana-julia-gennari/rafaela-silva_b_11451256.html." target="_blank">spiral into a depression</a> and nearly bow out of judo altogether.</p><p>A self-assured Silva took a moment to snatch the edges of her haters during a post-victory press conference, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/channel4newsidentity/videos/vb.1141827882556636/1149771328428958/?type=2&theater" target="_blank">saying</a>:</p><p></p><blockquote>I want to show those who criticized me in London who said I was an embarrassment to my family that a monkey belongs in a cage and not in the Olympics, now that monkey who was supposed to be in a cage in London is out of the cage, and is Olympic champion here in Rio de Janeiro.</blockquote><p>Oh snap!</p><p></p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p></p><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Started from the favelas, now she's here. Salute <a href="https://twitter.com/Rafaelasilvaa">@Rafaelasilvaa</a>!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BeingABlackGirlIsLit?src=hash">#BeingABlackGirlIsLit</a> in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Rio2016?src=hash">#Rio2016</a> <a href="https://t.co/hHL7uWLK5W">pic.twitter.com/hHL7uWLK5W</a></p><p>— britni danielle (@BritniDWrites) <a href="https://twitter.com/BritniDWrites/status/764145607724326912">August 12, 2016</a></p></blockquote><p><script async="" charset="utf-8" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script></p><p>Watch Silva’s press conference below.</p><p></p><div class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9399017067b6cf9e998edd75950ad799"><div class="fb-video" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/channel4newsidentity/videos/vb.1141827882556636/1149771328428958/?type=3" data-allowfullscreen="true"></div></div><p></p>
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