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Cielo: Why Beijing Bronze Counts Most

May 19, 2010  - Craig Lord

Cesar Cielo, Olympic 50m free champion in 2008 and double world sprint champion and world-record setter last year, rates none of those achievements as the most important: the Olympic bronze medal shared with Jason Lezak (USA) in the 100m freestyle in Beijing was the springboard to deeper understanding and better times.

The Brazilian speedster, coached by Brett Hawke at Auburn in the US, reveals his high of highs and explains why that should be so in a promotional video for his sponsor arena.

"The most important medal I have in my collection is the bronze from the 100 free [Beijing]. It's not the gold from the 50 or the gold[s] from Rome. The bronze medal completely changed the way I was thinking. The way I was acting during the Olympics. I was being very negative, going to the pool thinking that nothing was going to happen. But from the bronze medal I just started to see everything different and everything was beautiful and everything was the best. I feel like I became more mature ... In 2008 I was like a kid trying to win everything." 

His Beijing experience had contributed to a feeling in 2009 that "nobody's gonna touch me in the future." You can see the full video here, hear the charming Cielo and get a glimpse of his suit of 2010.