Before becoming known as an actor, Pedro Lima, who was born in Luanda on April 20, 1971 and was found dead on Saturday in Cascais, on the outskirts of the Portuguese capital, was part of the Angolan National Team that participated in the Seoul Olympic Games, in 1988, and Barcelona in 1991.
Nádia Cruz, then 13 years old, remembers seeing Pedro Lima arrive at the Alvalade pool after being shortlisted for Seoul.
"There he was, a slender figure, rolling his arms and ready to do his first workout", recalls the former swimmer who joined Pedro Lima in the teams selected for the two Olympic Games in which the actor competed.
In 1988, Angolan athletes did an internship in Loulé and from there they went to the South Korean capital, six girls and four boys, among them Pedro Lima, guided by the then national coach, Osvaldo Morais, to represent Angola in the Olympics
Nádia Cruz highlights the “advanced technical qualities” of the then swimmer, who she describes as “a super-intelligent boy, a person who is friendly and friendly”, with whom she lived at various times in Portugal and who always had a good relationship with the team.
"There were cultural differences, of course, he grew up in a Portuguese culture and we in an Angolan culture, but we always got along very well," Nádia Cruz told Lusa.
“Pedro was a very lively and fun person, he was very playful. We had a good time ”, describes Ana Lima, who met Pedro Lima at the age of 16 in Luanda and was also part of the selection for the OJs in Seoul.
Pedro Lima also participated in the International tournament in Maputo with colleagues Nádia Cruz and Elsa Freire, and in the Pan-African and African Championships that took place in Tunisia and Egypt where he won Gold and Bronze medals.
He also participated in the second Olympic Games Barcelona 1992, with his colleagues Nádia Cruz and Elsa Freire and later left swimming, becoming a successful model and actor, starring in several soap operas.
“He was a great swimmer, with absolute national records until today, he was the only Angolan to win gold in the African Games”, points out Ana Lima, who met Pedro Lima at the age of 16 and with him I spent time preparing for the Seoul games and on the internship in Loulé.
“A curiosity is that Pedro's mother was a friend of my mother's childhood. She lived in Luanda, but Pedro lived in Portugal ”, said the current vice-president of the Angolan Swimming Federation à Lusa.
“This premature death of Pedro Lima, a swimmer who belonged to my generation, was a great sadness,” said the former swimmer.
Nádia Cruz also stressed that the actor's death was a “shock for everyone” and left an alert to society for the “psychological problems” that affect many athletes.
“Pedro Lima was a great man, full of everything to live for, but apparently he had inner personal things that were not resolved, society has to think about that. People have to open up more and ask for help ”, he appealed.
On its official website, the Association of Olympic Athletes of Angola, published a note expressing its regret at the death of Pedro Lima and highlighting the athlete's achievements in the various competitions where he participated.
According to a source from the Maritime Authority, people close to the actor expressed their concern about the absence of Pedro Lima on Saturday morning, at about 8:20 am, because of a letter left by him, and the means of search were activated.
The body was found at 10:20 am on the Abano beach, in Cascais, by elements of a lifeboat.
Pedro Lima was playing a character in the soap opera "Amar Demais", to be broadcast on TVI.
TVI regretted the actor's "unexpected and brutal departure", considering that this is a "shocking day that opens a storm of emotions and leaves a huge grief among everyone".