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Andre Matias

Luanda, Angola

In 2010 I took a leave of absence from Hamilton College, my university in the USA, for the purpose of qualifying for the London 2012 Olympic Games. I had represented my country, Angola, at African Championships and Under-23 World Championships. In July 2011, just a few months short of Olympic Qualification, I experienced severe hip pain at the third stage of the World Rowing Cup. My dream of qualifying for the 2012 Olympics was over. I required immediate hip surgery. I was referred to Dr. Bryan T. Kelly, an expert surgeon specializing in operating on elite and professional athletes with hip problems. Dr. Kelly performed a hip arthroscopy on my left hip to correct an impingement and fix a labral tear. The recovery was not easy, and I had to re-learn to walk and had to rebuild a complex and entirely atrophied muscle group around the hip. I returned to Hamilton College to complete my 4th and final year, and by the spring, I was able to compete and excel in my final season on the varsity team. After graduating, I continued to train arduously but eventually, in 2013, my other hip also gave out and started to pain me. Dr. Kelly performed the same surgery successfully this time on my right hip. He knew I still dreamt of the Olympic Games. In the recovery room, he told me: "I've done my job, now you go do yours and qualify for the Games." This was in April 2013. In October of the same year, 6 months post-surgery, I won a Bronze medal at the African Championships in the lightweight double. This was the first medal in rowing for my country and a truly special moment. Since 2013, I have competed in 4 World Rowing Cup Stages, 2 African Championships, and 2 World Championships. In October 2015, just last month, I qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games in the lightweight double category, marking the first time in Olympic History that Angola will be represented in the sport of rowing at the Games. I would not have made it without Dr. Bryan T. Kelly.