Only 21 years old, swimmer César Cielo Filho made Olympic and Brazilian history this weekend at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He won the bronze in the 100m free, and won the gold in the 50m free, also breaking a world record at 21.30 seconds.
Born in Santa Bárbara d’Oeste, São Paulo, César is now a junior at Auburn University in Alabama, where he trains and studies International Business. He was the 2007 NCAA Swimmer of the Year, and is a six-time NCAA Champion. He’s also a twelve-time all American. Just prior to the Olympics, he won three golds and a silver at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro.
After he won the gold this weekend, he wept copiously following the race and during the medals ceremony. His parents, sister and friends congratulated him after, each of them dressed in a tee-shirt with a letter on it, spelling out C-E-S-Ã-O. Cesar also received a call on his cell phone from President Lula congratulating him on his win, since it was the first Brazilian gold medal of the 2008 games and the first Olympic swimming gold for Brazil.