Hélia Rogério de Souza, nicknamed "Fofão", won an Olympic gold medal in women's volleyball at Beijing 2008 and has now had her hands immortalised in the Brazilian Olympic Committee Hall of Fame ©COB

Olympic boxing medallist Servílio de Oliveira was among the latest Brazilian former athletes who had the opportunity to immortalise their hands for the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB) Hall of Fame in recognition of their achievements.

De Oliveira, winner of a bronze medal in the flyweight category at Mexico City 1968, was joined by Olympic champions Aurélio Miguel and Hélia Rogério de Souza, known as “Fofão” at ceremony held during the Brazilian Olympic Congress in Salvador.

"If today Brazil arrives at the Olympic Games with the condition of disputing several Olympic medals, conquering 21 podiums in the last edition, in Tokyo, it was because other great athletes paved the way," COB President Wanderley Teixeira said. 

"Honouring, materially immortalizing his story with the imprint of his hands is of paramount importance.

"The rescue and valorisation of the Olympic memory of Brazil is one of the missions of the COB.

"Servílio won a medal in Mexico in 1968; Aurélio, Olympic champion, in Seoul 1988, and Fofão, our captain in 2008.

"It seems that the number eight is a good number for Brazil in the Olympic Games."

De Oliveira was the first former athlete to make his mark during the ceremony.

The 73-year-old started boxing when the sport was at its peak in Brazil after it was made popular by Éder Jofre, who represented his country at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, but enjoyed greater success as a professional, including winning a world bantamweight title. 

Oliveira had competed at the 1967 Pan American Games in Winnipeg when he was only 19. 

He also won the Latin American Games in Chile, securing his spot for the following year's Olympic Games.

In professional boxing, he had 19 fights and managed to win all of them, becoming one of the few fighters who retired undefeated, although his only international title was winning the South American flyweight crown.

"I am delighted to receive this honour," de Oliveira said.

“Today I am sure that 500 years from now they will know who Servilio de Oliveira was.

“I have to thank the Olympic champion and director-general of the COB, Rogério Sampaio [judo gold medallist at Barcelona 1992], and the President Paulo Wanderley, competent managers who are ahead of the Committee for this appreciation of the Olympic memory of Brazil.

"Finally, I dedicate this tribute to my wife, Maria Chalot, because in April we celebrate 50 years of marriage.

"A partner who was by my side in so many difficult times and in good ones as well."

The second to shape his hands was Miguel, who started practicing judo because of respiratory conditions during his childhood. 

In 1983, he became the first Brazilian to be a junior world champion and then claimed the Olympic gold medal at Seoul 1988 in the 95 kilograms category.

He carried Brazil's flag at the Opening Ceremony of Barcelona 1992. 

Miguel returned to the Olympic podium winning the bronze medal at Atlanta 1996.

"It is important to keep the memory of the Olympic sports in Brazil," said Aurélio. 

"When I competed at the Seoul Olympic Games, I was the seventh gold medallist in Brazil.

"Starting in 1998, we got the incentive laws, which enabled us to become a great power.

"Only in Tokyo 2020, for example, we had gold medals in boxing, sailing, marathon swimming, surfing, canoeing and artistic gymnastics.

"I thank the President of the COB, Paulo Wanderley Teixeira, the President of the Brazilian Judo Confederation, Silvio Acácio Borges, and Bernard Rajzman, who brought our generation back to judo competitions when he was the national secretary of sport. 

"It was his intermediation that culminated the medal of Rogério Sampaio in 1992."

Aurélio Miguel won an Olympic gold medal in judo at Seoul 1988 and was the country's flagbearer for the Opening Ceremony of Barcelona 1992 ©COB
Aurélio Miguel won an Olympic gold medal in judo at Seoul 1988 and was the country's flagbearer for the Opening Ceremony of Barcelona 1992 ©COB

Fofão joined the Brazilian team for 17 years and played 340 games.

She competed in five editions of the Olympic Games, winning bronze medals at Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000.

Then, as the captain of the team, she won the unexpected gold medal at Beijing 2008. 

Her career ended in 2015 with the title of the Women's Superliga and the clash of the Club World Cup, in Zurich.

"I am very happy and I feel magnified by the tribute," Fofão said.

"It's a great feeling to see amazing friends, both in the audience and next to me on stage.

"This is one of those moments when we thank the sport for everything it has given us.

"I am very grateful to everyone who contributed to my career.”

The COB Hall of Fame was created in 2018 with the aim of exalting and immortalizing those athletes who make the history of the country's Olympic Movement. 

It has 20 honourees so far, including athletes and coaches of Olympic disciplines.

All the members will have their moulds displayed in a place to preserve the Olympic memory set up by the COB, in addition to a digital room launched in June 2021, when the COB turned 107 years old.

The digital Hall of Fame consists of detailed profiles and a large collection of photos and videos in partnership with the International Olympic Committee.

Pages for new members in the Digital Hall of Fame will be added as the honours are made.