Dubai: She wants to give her two children a better life. Brazilian champion archer Jane Karla Gogel was headed back to her new base near Lisbon in Portugal after winning gold at last week’s Fourth Para Archery World Ranking Tournament in Dubai.
All her life, Gogel has lived in the capital Brasilia. But with both her children — Lucas, 18, and Leticia, 15 — increasingly afflicted by pain due to defects in their limbs, Gogel had to make a choice — she could either stay in her native Brazil battling a feeling of helplessness at the plight of her children or make the move to Europe so her children would have a chance of alleviating their pain.
“I chose Portugal. This is the first time-ever that I have travelled to an international competition from another country other than Brazil, and it felt odd. And I will be the only one travelling to Portugal while the rest of the squad returns to Brazil,” Gogel told Gulf News.
Born on July, 6, 1975 Gogel has so far competed in three Paralympic Games starting from Beijing in 2008 till her home Games in 2016 in Rio De Janeiro. As a junior, Gogel started off as a table tennis player where she rose to being national champion and representing Brazil at international competitions.
However, by 2003 she turned her attention to archery and found she was quite good at it. Her first success came at the 2005 Parapan Games held in Rio de Janeiro where she won gold and qualified for the 2006 World Championships.
“From then on, it was nothing but archery for me. I don’t have anything else in my life now. I live and breathe for archery. And of course, I worry about my family,” Gogel said.
Since relocating to Portugal Lucas has already obtained admission to pursue a degree in Law from a university near Lisbon while her daughter has got an entry in the local high school. “I’ve had a full life and now it is the turn of my children. I want them to have a normal life. Both of them carry a handicap but their spirit is intact. It pained me to see them both in pain and I thought I had a responsibility of ensuring they are happy. Over a period of three years my husband and I toyed with the idea, and finally two weeks back we decided to shift to Portugal. We searched, in vain, all over Brazil to see if we could get better treatment for our kids and give them some relief. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any place and that is why we shifted,” she added.
Archery, however, will always remain her first love. “The decision to move is purely personal. That doesn’t mean that I am giving up my sport. Archery has been, and will always be, my first love. I will continue training even harder. And when the calls comes to represent the nation, you can be in no doubt that I will be flying the flag for Brazil,” Gogel added.
“Qualiying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is next on my list, and I will go about this task with a one-track mind. A fourth Olympic Games sounds quite an appealing thought and I hope I can make it a reality when the process starts,” she added.