Published On: Fri, Aug 26th, 2016

Rio volunteer showered with gifts from French players after being robbed

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For one volunteer, the Rio Olympics mark one of the worst experiences of his life, and – thanks to France’s men’s basketball team – one of the best.

Vitor Galvani was waiting for the bus after working the France-Venezuela game Aug. 12 when a group of teenagers robbed him at knifepoint, taking his cellphone, according to Brazilian news outlet O Globo, as translated by Yahoo Sports’ Ben Rohrbach.

The 23-year-old Galvani was visibly shaken up the next day at work, and France’s team trainer asked him what happened, relaying the story to the rest of the squad.

The players talked to Galvani about the incident, and Tony Parker got him a new cellphone and a bag full of goodies.


The San Antonio Spurs guard also reportedly made sure the volunteer wouldn’t run into trouble at the bus stop again by arranging for a car and security to take him home.

“I wept like a child,” Galvani said, ” I hugged him – I could see the person he is.”


Boris Diaw later called Galvani and informed him of a tradition in which he and his teammates pay fines for minor offenses like tardiness. While the funds usually go toward dinner at the end of the competition, the players gave them to their new friend.

After France lost in the semifinals to Spain, the players also left their shoes and uniforms behind for their favorite locker room attendant to keep. He thanked them and told them he’d bring them back to Joinville, Brazil, for the kids he coaches, prompting Nando de Colo to bring him even more equipment.


And even though the team had already given Galvani their post-tourney dinner dough, the players invited him to the enjoy the meal with them.


“I think I’ve never eaten so much and so well in my life,” Galvani noted in a Facebook post, as translated by Rohrbach.

“These Olympic athletes are much more than stars for their clubs and countries. They have shown me that people can sympathize with the story of others and can recognize the goodwill of a job I was doing. I hope I can pass this on, mainly for the athletes I work with. I want to form not only great athletes, but also great people like the ones that I was able to be on the same side of in these Olympics.”

(Photos courtesy: Vitor Galvani)



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