Athens Olympic bronze medallist Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima from Brazil
will run his last race as a professional today in the 84th annual Sao Silvestre
Vanderlei received huge amounts of attention and cheers of support yesterday.
Fans composed songs about the runner, wore shirts with his image and asked for
Vanderlei became an icon in Brazil after the Athens Olympic marathon race, in
which he was attacked in the middle of the race by a crazy fan when he was in
the first place. Despite the adversity, Vanderlei was able to come back and
finished third, winning the hearts of Brazil and the world as a whole.
After engaging in the sport for more than 20 years, Vanderlei decided to end
his professional career in Wednesday's marathon. "It will not be about winning.
It will be about participating," he said.
Ironically, Vanderlei has never won the Sao Silvertre Marathon.