ATHLETE PROFILE : Denny Lopes, Beach Volleyball
Denny Lopes and his beach volleyball partner, Raphael, are ready to bring their A-game to the World Police and Fire Games in Fairfax this summer! They have been playing together since 2010 and have won many tournaments in Brazil, their home country.
Denny is quick to point out that just as important to him as the competitiveness and opportunity to win is the experiences and memories he has been given with his fellow police who are all dear friends. They train together almost daily and whether they win or lose, their resolve to give their all remains steady.
After a disappointing loss to Team Russia in New York, they returned to Belfast in 2013. Even though Denny was struggling with health issues just a few months prior to those Games, he was able to secure a gold medal in beach volleyball with Raphael, as well as gold in mixed doubles with Eva, a German athlete.
The youngest of six children, Denny wanted to be a professional footballer, like most Brazilian children. Growing up with asthma, he took the sidelines often and preferred to stay out of the limelight and didn’t play many sports. However, when he was 12 years old, the Brazilian Beach Volleyball Circuit was held in Brasilia and Denny worked as a ball boy. Impressed with the game and the technique of the players, he decided right then and there that he would play. He credits his success to his first teacher, Maurilio Matias, his brother Elmer Calvis (a professional volleyball coach) and his friend Gustavo Henrique. His hard work paid off and he joined the professional circuit from 2005 and 2008.
Denny has worked for the Military Police in Brazil since 2002 and alternates between administrative service and street patrol. He is most proud of his efforts and opportunities to save lives and protect those in his community.
When Denny is not on the court, he likes to watch sports on TV, spend time with his wife (newly married in 2013) and hang out with his teammates and friends, Raphael and Silvio. After his father passed away in 2003 and then suffering the loss of Luis Francisco, a fellow duty officer, Denny’s life motto is now “Enjoy life - live every day as if it were the last”. He believes firmly that success comes from trying, training and believing.
The Opening Ceremonies are one of Denny’s favorite moments in the Games and he is most looking forward to representing his country, in his Brazilian uniform. He enjoys interacting with other athletes and is excited to be a tourist in the Virginia / Washington D.C. area.Last modified on