ISSS International Student Spotlight: Pauline Batista Souza da Silva, ’16 M.A.

The Olympic Torch
by Pauline Batista Souza da Silva, ’16 M.A.

As we all know, in spite of all controversy this year, the Olympic Games will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A Latin American capital we all know very well through the life stories of Pelé, Tom Jobim, Hollywood, Carmen Miranda and many other sources of the glamour 20th century entertainment brings.

Because eight years ago, me – from the Rio nobody shows in Hollywood (at least from an amicable perspective), a young woman who’s story has drastically changed, joined other 12 thousand Olympic Torch Bearers this summer.

I left the favela when I was 9 years old, moved to Paraty, a very charming town three hours away from Rio where my family has now become financially successful. I have always studied hard. I now have a bachelors degree as well as a masters degree and have already accepted a PhD candidacy offer. Nissan (one of the Olympic Games’ sponsors) found my story quite appealing and decided to make me an Olympic Torch bearer this summer. Precisely on July 27th, I crossed Paraty, bearing the torch and the hope for all of those who come from underrepresented communities in South America and who have ambitious dreams.

UCONN Alumna carrying Olympic Torch
UConn alumna Pauline Batista Souza da Silva carries the torch at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

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