FINISHING THE RACE IN RIO
by Chris & Jami
With bags packed and tickets bought, the van der Merwes were ready to tackle a (very!) long trip to Brazil to support Fanie at his last Paralympic Games.
We weren't sure whether we would see Fanie the day before his 100m final - what a treat it was when we were able to!
On the day of the final all of us felt a mix of emotions and we could only imagine what Fanie must have felt like.
As all the athletes crossed the finish line, tension was mounting and we waited for the results to show on the monitor... When we saw Fanie came third we were overjoyed! The six of us definitely stood out in between the sea of Brazilian spectators as we cheered and celebrated Fanie's bronze!
After the race Fanie's coach, Suzanne Ferreira, organised that we sit in the athletes' booth for the medal ceremony. What a special moment for the family to be a few meters away from where Fanie received his medal and shared the podium with fellow SA athlete and friend, Charl du Toit.
Walking off as South Africa's Flag-bearer at the Paralympic's Closing Ceremony, Fanie symbolized an athlete that has run his 12-year race with endurance and joy. In that time he never seized to shine and he will continue to shine and walk towards the next chapter that God has prepared for him.
After watching Fanie...
We set out to explore the interesting and beautiful things in and around Rio.
Chris especially enjoyed the waves at Copacabana!
What would a visit to Rio be without visiting the Christ the Redeemer Statue.
After our time in Rio, Jami and I said goodbye to the rest of the family and took the bus to Praia da Sununga next to the coast.
A big dream of mine came true when I was able to skim at this world famous skimboarding spot!
It was great seeing local pro, Leandro Azevedo, and meeting his family.
It was also great skimming with Juan from Argentina.
Jami met and connected with some local dogs!
When we got back to South Africa...
The kids from the Cloetesville club were very interested in hearing all our stories about Brazil and the Paralympics.
One of the kids even cut out an article about Fanie and the other SA athletes at the Games and brought it with to the club.
CSA - Christian Skaters Africa by Chris
Our trip to Brazil ended on a highlight! We had the privilege of meeting fellow Christian Skaters at the Skate House in Sao Bernardo. These guys have a passion for God's Kingdom and a genuine love for people.
It was so encouraging to be able to talk about what CSA and CS Brazil do and to share the vision that God has placed on our hearts.
After eating a lot of take ways, we were more than spoiled with some home made, traditional Brazilian food!
What's great about the Skate House, is that they are busy building a skatepark at the back of the house.
They already finished the mini ramp section (and very creatively decided to keep the tree to form part of it!).
It is great to see how CS Brazil loves the local skaters and how the Skate House is a safe place where people can come hang out and find hope in Jesus.
CS Brazil also took us to their local skatepark and we were amazed at how busy and alive the park was.
We ended our day with John blessing us with some more delicious Brazilian food!
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