Vinicius Campos was born in Santo Andre, Brazil 18 years ago.
Santo Andre is a big municipality in the region of Sao Paulo, which has a high population of middle class people in Brazil. Campos grew up in this Brazilian city attending school at Ete Julio de Mesquita.
Growing up, he used to try different sports, and when he was five years old he started to play the most popular sport in Brazil: soccer.
Campos always turned on the television to watch some of his idols play on the best teams around the world. When he was seven years old, Brazil won the World Cup defeating South Korea and Japan. He also played volleyball until he discovered track and field, more specifically the hurdles event.
Campos started hurdling at age 14 in a sports club close to his house.
His first year was the best one in his track and field career. Reflecting back on his earlier career, Campos said, “Every competition the other guys wanted to know if I was there and if I was, they would be upset, so I was respected. It was a successful year because I got medals in every single race.”
His results were recognized in national meets, his highest achievement was fourth place in the 300-meter hurdles after having a time of 41 seconds. In 2012, Campos was awarded third place in the state championship and fourteenth in the nation. He felt that he had come up short in his achievements the previous year.
Campos gave some insight to his achievements in 2012 stating, “It was good because I had a really bad year in 2011.” He was fifth in the nation with the 4×400 relay in his last year competing in Brazil.
Campos not only shows how this sport is giving him a lot of opportunities to grow up and develop his identity, but he also said that there were some bad moments in his career.
“The worst memories are of my injuries,” he said. “A stress fracture last year took me out from track for five months. It was hard to see opponents that never beaten me, ahead of me in the races.”
Track and field has given him many opportunities including a scholarship to come to Goshen College this spring season.
“I decided to come to Goshen because my physiotherapist introduced me to a friend who was going to a junior college in Texas, and I wanted to know how people could get scholarships in United States,” he said. “She gave me the contact of a company who worked with athletes and sent them to American universities.”
This company contacted Goshen College, and he chose Goshen over colleges located in Missouri or Kansas.
Two months after arriving, Campos still has some struggles with the food and with the weather in Goshen. He also commented that he is having some problems with this track and field’s season, “Running indoors is also something that I am still learning to deal with.”
Campos acknowledged that living far from home is difficult and that’s something that he is getting used to because this is the first time he has lived so far away from home.
“I still miss my family and my country,” he said.