At the age of 38, Sheilla Castro has just played the last game in her professional volleyball career!
Opposite hitter, a 2-time Olympic champion, Sheilla has just played the last match in her professional career that lasted for as many as 25 years! On April 9, one of the biggest names in volleyball history took her last steps on the court as her team, Team Sheilla, beat Team Team Drews in the 2022 Athletes Unlimited (the U.S. pro league). So, at the age of 38, the phenomenon that marked one of the best generations of Brazilian sport said goodbye to active playing, a step she has been rehearsing in recent years. Namely, in 2016, Sheilla said goodbye to volleyball but returned 3 years later, joining Itambé Minas. In 2021, she still tried to get back to her best pace in search of a place on the Brazil National Team that played in the Tokyo Games but ended up being left out of the final list. The farewell from Brazil’s jersey came the same year, in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League. The opposite hitter was then more determined to start the transition to retirement. At Minas, her last club in Brazil, she joined the coaching staff. This followed 2 seasons in the competition in the United States, in a different format, with teams changing every week, ending her cycle as captain of the team named after her in Week 4 of this season’s competition.
“I feel happiness and sadness… Funny how two such ambiguous feelings are part of this moment of mine. Happiness because I’m closing a beautiful, joyful, victorious chapter of my life. If when I was 14 I wanted to be an Olympic champion, I say that I managed to fulfill that dream of the Olympics with mastery! And the main thing – I managed to inspire, and change the lives of people who accompanied me in these more than 20 years of professional volleyball! This makes me very happy, very grateful! Sadness because the court, since I was 13 years old, has been my safe haven. It was my escape from difficult times in my life. And there’s insecurity, like, will I find something that makes me forget about my problems, my uncertainties for a few hours?” Sheilla posted on social media and added that she was ready to write another chapter of her story, with new challenges.
Sheilla has established herself as one of the biggest names in Brazilian sport overall. At the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008 and in London in 2012, Sheilla led Brazil Women to gold medals with absolute decision-making power. She was involved in Brazil’s triumph in 7 FIVB World Grand Prix and South American Championships, 3 Pan-American Cups, 1 Pan American Games, and 2 FIVB World Grand Champions Cups. On a club level, she won 2 CEV Champions Leagues and FIVB Club World Championships, 1 CEV Cup, 3 South American Club Championships, 2 Brazilian and Turkish Championships, and 1 Italian Championship. Individually, Sheilla was awarded MVP of the FIVB World Grand Prix and South American Championship 2 times apiece, South American Championship and FIVB Club World Championship one time each…
Obrigado por tudo, Sheilla (Thank you for everything, Sheilla)!