Bruno Schmidt, who with Alison Cerutti won Olympic beach volleyball gold for Brazil in Rio in 2016, retired from the sport at age 36.
Schmidt made the decision due to a drop in his performance since the Tokyo Games and to begin a career as a lawyer after graduating from a university, he reportedly said in a Brazilian TV interview that aired Sunday. He plans to take the Brazilian bar exam in February.
In 2016, Bruno and Alison earned one of the host nation’s seven gold medals, doing so under the lights inside a stadium on Copacabana Beach in a national sport.
Bruno, a nephew of all-time Olympic basketball scoring leader Oscar Schmidt, was so burdened by pressure that he said he averaged four hours of sleep per night over the Games.
“I’m so exhausted,” he said after the final. “It wasn’t easy, the job they gave us, trying to defend our country against the world.”
Bruno, a 6-foot-1 defensive standout known as “the Magician,” and Alison, a 6-foot-8 blocker nicknamed “Woolly Mammoth” with a matching rib tattoo, split up in 2018.
Bruno earned his last international title in 2019, then in February 2021 spent 13 days in the hospital, including five days in an intensive-care unit with a lung problem due to a coronavirus infection.
Bruno and Alison qualified for the Tokyo Games with new partners, but for the first time in Olympic history, Brazil was shut out of the beach volleyball medals.
Alison, 37, played six international tournaments with Guto Carvalhaes last year. Guto found a new partner for this season. Alison is not signed up to play the first top-level tournament in Doha in February.
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O campeão olímpico nos Jogos do Rio em 2016 🥇, Bruno Schmidt, anunciou hoje sua despedida das quadras.
Sentiremos falta dos seus lances mágicos, mas o orgulho e os aplausos são eternos! 👏👏 💚💛
Seja feliz no novo caminho, campeão! 🍀Obrigado por tudo! pic.twitter.com/i7Be9XxV6z
— CBV (@volei) January 22, 2023