Brazilian athlete Giovana Stephan knows a thing or two about pioneering. Having starred for years in a sport historically reserved for women, Giovana blazed a trail in 2015 by becoming the first Brazilian synchronized swimmer to compete with a man. She and her mixed duet—and now real-life—partner, Renan Alcantara, hope to be the first to represent Brazil at the next Olympics should their event be integrated into the Games.
Giovana has also been one of the earliest adopters of biofortified crops among Brazil’s high-profile athletes. Since early last year, she has been a strong champion of the crops.
Two months ago, Giovana and her father prepared a delicious, biofortified vitamin A-rich orange sweet potato lunch at the Comary Club, the main restaurant in their hometown of Teresópolis. The club’s patrons loved it.
Giovana’s hometown is in Rio de Janeiro, a state that has embraced biofortified crops and is helping to demonstrate the success of these crops. Several farming farmilies in the region grow biofortified crops and sell or promote them at local fairs. The region also boasts two experimental fields dedicated to biofortified crops.
Giovana is motivated by the knowledge that biofortified crops allow access to good nutrition for farmers and consumers who might not othewise afford it through a diverse diet or supplements.
Check out this interesting feature (in Portuguese) on Giovana in the popular Brazilian online sports publication and publishing platform Torcedores.com.