The story of Bruna Alexandre, the tennis player without one arm who will compete in the Olympic and Paralympic Games
JM González
June 11, 2024

Dreams, if you work for them, do come true. And Bruna Alexandre can say it well, who at 29 years old became the first Brazilian to qualify for the same edition of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The third best female tennis player in the world ranking is also the seventh athlete in history to achieve this feat.

At two months old, Bruna lost her right arm to amputation due to thrombosis. She has been practicing table tennis since he was 7 years old, consolidating a successful career in adapted sports. So much so, that he already has four Paralympic Games medals, after winning three bronzes in Rio 2016 and a silver in Tokyo 2020.

In Paralympic sport he is already a celebrity thanks to his achievements. Especially together with the Brazilian team, with whom she became world champion in para table tennis in 2017. And it was precisely as a team that Bruna began to fulfill her dream of reaching the highest level not in Paralympic sport, but shining with its own light in the conventional one.


The path was gradual. In 2023 she became the first para athlete to compete in the Pan American Games, achieving bronze in the team competition in Santiago.

In 2024 he made his first appearance in the absolute World Cup, making history by winning two matches, demonstrating that the lack of his right arm was not a factor and that the “blessed” tattoo on his left hand has led him to a path that few Paralympic athletes in history have achieved. That blessing was already complete with a view to Paris 2024. She was already comfortably qualified for the Paralympic Games, but her great joy came when Time Brazil confirmed her presence in the team competition at the Olympic Games.

“Today is a day different from any other day I have woken up to in these 29 years of existence,” Bruna began by saying in an exciting and viral publication on her social networks. “Among all the years I have lived, this day will mark my career forever and ever. I never thought I would live and resist so many challenges that life has imposed on me since I was 2 months old, but today I can celebrate, sing and even cry and share it with everyone those who love me and follow my journey that I have just embarked on. I became the first athlete in the history of Brazil to be called up to play in the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the same Olympic Games!” said the Brazilian.


And his achievement is not minor. In 23 editions of the Olympics, including Paris 2024, only seven athletes have managed to double Olympic and Paralympic participation in the same edition. The first para athlete to compete in the Olympic Games was the New Zealander Neroli Fairhall in Los Angeles in 1984, although on that occasion she did not compete in the Paralympic Games.

For her part, the first athlete to double the bet and be in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the same edition was the Italian Paola Fantato, in the archery of Atlanta 1996. From there the South African Natalia du Toit passed in the swimming Beijing 2008, tennis player Natalia Partyka – and Bruna’s inspiration – in Beijing 2008, London 2012, Rio 2026 and Tokyo 2020; the South African Oscar Pistorius in the London 2012 athletics, the Iranian Zahra Nemati in the archery of Rio 2026 and the tennis athlete Melissa Tapper, representing Australia in Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.

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