Chapeco, Brazil (CNN)It was a prize presentation which will remain with me forever. No fist pumps back-slapping no yelling, and screaming. There was hardly a team, only a few of players as they lowered their heads for their medals, choking back the tears.
It wasn’t a joyful occasion. It turned out to be a savage ordeal.
Jackson Follmann and Neto, Alan Ruschel – whose right leg continues to be partly amputated – are the only survivors in the team that set out to play in the final of the Copa Sudamericana of Chapecoense. Their salute with Follmann clutching the cup in a motorized wheelchair, to the group, was unforgettable – uplifting and pitiful in identical measure.
They were fortunate to have made it back at all, although it was not how they believed they had be returning to Chapeco.
Saturday was another day that is amazing for Chapecoense, a day of emotions, extreme, and of course miscellaneous.
Chapecoense was playing its first match because the team was almost wiped out on November 29 in a plane crash.
In the space of only several brief weeks, 22 players are recruited to form a fresh team, a group so hurriedly organized that one player was pulled from learning the front of me to sign the sideline with his contract. But nevertheless, Chape held the national champs to a 2-2 draw, all the goals, from Amaral and Douglas Grolli, helping the catharsis.
The players were joined on the field from the families of the casualties, powerful and dignified people that could not have envisioned that among the very improbable stories in sport
would finish in such disaster.
Medals were accepted by them for fiancs, husbands, boyfriends and their fathers – what should have been symbols of victory, instead were quite bittersweet tokens.
Most wept openly supporting each other, attempting to hold up them. As they returned for their seats, one guy held his medal, but this was no party. These families needed to observe as most of the supporters in the arena cheered what is likely to function as the morning of a brand new age and also the initial match for the new team, and as new players took the field wearing the tops and amounts of these nearest and dearest.
This all played out subsequent to the crash, that can not perhaps fix fast, if at all. The sole ones resistant to the anguish were the youngest: the widow of Marcelo Augusto returned to her seat, infant son Joao sleeping along with his father’s medal
#39, I&;ll weep whenever that I think infant Joao, of this along with #39 & his dad;s Copa Sudamericana medal. Marcelo Augusto perished in the #chapecoense plane crash. #VamosChape #forachape
As I talked using the widow of the team’s vice president of advertising, Jandir Bordignon, she clutched her medal and shrugged her shoulders as if to say “so what.’”
For the opponent team Palmerias and national winners, playing in such states must happen to be an almost hopeless job. It was clearly difficult for the players, whose manager Vagner Mancini kept them protecting them from your emotion of Chapecoense.
Finished breakfast, the Palmeiras general manager Cicero Souza had told me that once the whistle blew, there will not be any empathy for Chapecoense. “Chape do not need to be treated as casualties”, he said.
However, from the ending of the day, he was clearly moved; describing the occasion as “psychological and also a privilege to have been a component of it.” Some Palmerias supporters concurred. One guy explained that he had driven 13 hours from Sao Paulo only to be here.
It had been 49 days considering that the Arena Conda had last played host into a public occasion, when tons of coffins were brought onto the field in the pouring rain
, an image seared to the heads of all who watched it.
This was favorable, a chapter to close, fix and move forward. The earth was festooned with little origami, interior of which were messages like “amor” (love) and “alegria” (well-being), creations that had been sent in from all around the globe.
Itis a reminder this was more than a local or national disaster, the fortune of Chapecoense caught hearts on international scale. As among the club helpers, Jorge Luis de Andrade, told me, “We recognize the solidarity, the complete world is watching and such exposure just brings us prosperity.”
Chapecoense’s arena was festooned with origami, sent in from all around the globe. They put in the press room and players’ locker rooms and were given out to the supporters. Indoors, a message like & #39; or ' & #39;love;well-being ‘; mine said ‘recomear 39; # & – new start. #chapecoense #VamosChape #forachape
The supporters were impressed. UOL’s Daniel Fasolin, the neighborhood radio reporter told me how struck he was by the players’ mental strength. Supporter Fernando Silva said, “they possess the nature of a large significant team.” Julio Oliveira said, “I believe we can regain our stature rapidly.”
In the situation this was pretty much the best anyone could have hoped for, although needless to say, it is way too early to state. The nighttime is truly darkest before the morning.
The past will never be forgotten – this match was discontinued to remember the 71 victims of the crash – as well as their heritage is currently in the DNA of the team. The striker Tulio de Melo, who returned to his old team to simply help reconstruct it, told me “It had not been a regular match, but it was amazing to view the supporters behind us, we did good for the honour of our buddies that aren’t here anymore.”
However, the healing will not be totally complete until Ruschel and Neto are back on the team – after this year, both are anticipated to play. If January 21 needs to be described as a date to be commemorated inquired, Ruschel offered another, the day of the crash – November 29. “My reincarnation must be commemorated in November, Chapecoense additionally must commemorate that day.”
Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/22/football/brazil-chapecoense-returns-to-field/index.html
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