Gabi values Ze Roberto’s lessons of hard work
Brazil's Gabriela 'Gabi' Guimaraes
Gabi made her senior national team debut at age 17 under multi-titled mentor Jose Roberto Guimaraes, better known as Ze Roberto, and since then she has learned many valuable lessons that have made her the successful volleyball athlete she is today.
“Under Ze Roberto’s guidance, I learned the importance of hard work and dedication. The key is to work, work and work.” Gabi said. “Ze Roberto is a very intelligent person who believes that working hard makes the difference. He always taught us not to give up on our dreams and stay determined to achieve our goals.”
All her hard work over the years has certainly paid off, and she has won multiple medals representing her country.
In 2017, she faced one of the toughest battles of her career – injuring her right knee – but she returned to the national team months later with a strong determination to help her team enter the final round of the 2018 VNL.
She is still relatively young at age 24, but her experience is valuable especially with the addition of new players in the Brazilian line-up for this year’s VNL.
“We have a new group with several new players looking for a spot in the line-up,” Gabi explained. “We are working hard with great determination because we know that the Volleyball Nations League is a very strong competition. This is an important and difficult competition for our group and we are already thinking ahead by preparing for the Olympic qualification tournament.”
At the 2019 VNL, Brazil will host China, the Dominican Republic and Russia in Brasilia in the first week.
“The first stage will be very difficult because we will be facing two traditional rivals and the Dominican Republic, which is a team that is improving a lot each season,” Gabi said. “It is always good to play at home with our fans behind us. Having the support of our fans in a strong pool like this will be very good for our team.”
Looking ahead to Tokyo 2020, she remains confident of achieving her dream of competing and winning a medal in Japan.
“This Olympic cycle has gone very fast. Each year the championships are getting more difficult and teams have also improved a lot. My big dream is to compete in the Olympic Games in Tokyo and win a medal there. We know that the road is long and we still have a lot to improve on, but I believe in the potential of our team - we have everything to achieve a good performance in Tokyo.”
Joining her is her ally Natalia Pereira whose experience will be valuable to Brazil’s Tokyo 2020 mission.
“My favourite teammate is Natalia. No doubt she’s my best friend. I had the chance to play with her for many years in the clubs and national team. We have a very good relationship because we live together well - that reflects positively inside the court.”
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