Back to business after a dream come true in Rio

Mantas Brazauskis, 27, is a center player in the Lithuanian national team and a Paralympic gold medallist from Rio 2016.

"It feels that it happened a long long time ago, the Rio Paralympics and gold medals... But I‘m sure all of our team members still sometimes have Rio in our minds because it was a tournament that changed the history of Lithuanian disability sports. For the first time Lithuanian goalball team won a gold medal. It was a dream and the goal of our team for a long time and it was amazing to achieve it, to stand there and sing our national anthem in an arena full of people.

Many people in Lithuania were intrested in the Rio Paralympics and were celebrating the triumph with us. When we came back we got a chance to visit many places to tell about our journey to win the gold. We showed our medals to everyone willing to see or touch them.

Mantas Brazauskis

After this huge experience we returned step by step to our simple lifes: back to our jobs, studies, everyday activities...

We, as many other teams, have had some changes in the team after Rio. One of the best players in the world, Genrik Pavliukianec, retiered and our coach finished his job with goalball too. It wasn‘t easy to find a new coach but we did it and we are helping to understand goalball and get experience. We have had many tournaments and training camps before the Euros. It takes time to become a goalball pro – but we are all working together to achieve our goals and we are looking forward to meet you in Pajulahti!"

There will be total of 22 blog texts published in the Pajulahti 2017 blog, one text every week until the 2017 IBSA Goalball European Championships on 18–22 of September. Each week there will be a different writer. New blog text will be published every Wednesday.