"I am an example, because I've received an Athlete Grant since I was 14 years old. I participated in all stages: school games then and school Olympics today. So I see the games as very important for kids, for the base, because these school Olympics will usually lead to discovering future athletes who will represent us."
Sarah Menezes, gold medal in judo at the London Olympic Games.
"Honestly, things have greatly improved here since 2006. And I think the trend is improving more and more. More money is coming in, we are becoming more professional. Swimming is moving up a step, being compared with volleyball, with soccer. For us, it is very good. So I hope we'll be seeing swimming as a means of earning a living. Today, it's my job. We are seeing a lot of money entering the sport, we can be professional athletes. And I hope that in 2016, we will deliver the best-ever Brazil swimming campaign."
The Dilma government also began an unprecedented effort to strengthen women's football. The Brazilian Women's Soccer Championship in 2013 once again was held after a 12-year hiatus, sponsored by the Caixa Econômica Federal and supported by the Ministry of Sports.
The incentive was repeated in 2014 and the competition, which was kicked off in September, ran until December. Other activities, for the development of the sport with a focus on young athletes, included the 1st Brazil Under-17 School Cup and the 1st Brazil University Women's Soccer Cup.
The numbers are impressive: 3.6 million children and youths benefited in more than 20,000 schools in 3,018 municipalities. And behind every number, a life story that almost always began as a sad tale but wound up with a happy second half.