"In the beginning, they used to say judo was not a girl's sport. Then, they would complain that being an athlete was a not a proper career.
"I would go to my training sessions anyway, sometimes saying I had to stay longer at school, sometimes asking the neighbour to take me secretly", she tells the BBC.
Her parents finally eased up when her coach met with them to explain she could win an Olympic medal.
[ Related: Saudi Judo athlete to withdraw if hijab banned ]
Most people growing up say they are staying after school for extra work to avoid telling their parents about a detention or a visit to a friend's house. Menezes did it to spend extra time training in a sport.
Want to be more impressed by the 20-year-old? She trained for this gold-medal winning run through the judo field while working on her bachelor's degree and taking classes to learn English. Olympians: They're not like us.
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- Sarah Menezes