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For 1 Brazilian, Olympics Feel Like His Nation Has Arrived

"Go to bed," my grandmother implored. "It is late, and these Olympics are very far away." I was 6 years old, a boy in working-class Sao Paulo already obsessed with the Olympics, staying up to watch the 1988 Games in Seoul, South Korea. Grandmother Lazinha - we called her Zica - was right. It was indeed late for a kid. But what she also meant, I understand now, was that no one living in the Brazil of those days was expected to go very far. Nor was my homeland...

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