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Autographed photograph by Cesar Cielo (2009)

Autographed photograph by Cesar Cielo (2009)

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In 2009, at the height of his athletic career, Cesar Cielo signed an autograph for a fan.

Photograph by Cesar Cielo, with the champion's autograph. ~25cm x 20cm. Hotel Concorde Lafayette in Paris, June 2010. Perfect condition. Single piece.

Known as the country of football, Brazil is still in its infancy when it comes to other sports. However, where there is a lack of incentives from the public sector, there is a surplus of resilience and perseverance of athletes who lead Brazilian sport to triumph. Among the heroes of national sport, an unforgettable name is César Cielo, the only swimmer born in the country to win a gold medal at the Olympics, and the Brazilian athlete with the most medals in any sport at World Championships. Cielo's power that led him to all these glories can be seen in his autographed photos, records of the athlete's triumph. That moment, however, was a path built hard since his childhood.

César Augusto Cielo Filho was born in 1987, in the small town of Santa Bárbara D'oeste in São Paulo, and as a child he began training at Esporte Clube Barbarense. The promising young man moved, in 2003, to São Paulo, with the intention of training at the well-known Esporte Clube Pinheiros, together with his swimming idol, Gustavo Borges. This experience shaped the course of his destiny, the pools were really his home.

So, when the time came to attend college, Cielo moved to the United States, due to a scholarship at Auburn University, under the commitment to represent the university on its swimming team. Training during that period was intense, and Cielo was even forbidden to have boyfriends or go out at night. But it was also there that Cielo met Brett Hawke, the coach who ended up preparing him for the Beijing Olympics.

The 2008 Olympic Games, in the Chinese capital, represented the ecstasy of power and determination that marked Cielo's career. The Brazilian swimmer started with a bronze medal in the 100-meter freestyle, breaking the South American record. However, Cielo didn't stop there, he also broke the Olympic record of 21s34 in the 50-metre freestyle semifinal, a feat crowned with gold in the category. The athlete who started in the pools of the interior of São Paulo reached the top of the world.

And, back in Brazil, the Olympic champion decided to dedicate his impetus and energy, opening new paths for Brazilian swimming, and helping to sow the new talents that will bring the medals of the future. Cielo founded the César Cielo Institute, whose objective is to encourage the practice of sports among Brazilian children and adolescents. The institute promotes courses and supports young athletes, and ensures that the swimmer's legacy feeds new generations.

More than an athlete, Cielo is a symbol of perseverance. The energy and strength expressed in this incredible photograph are the mark of overcoming expectations and difficulties, characteristics that allowed the athlete to write his name in the history of world sport.

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