From violence to the Olympics, all in their hometown

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Sisters rise from tragedy to become Olympic badminton players
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From violence to the Olympics, all in their hometown
Brazilian badminton players Lohaynny Vicente (R), 20, and her sister Luana Vicente, 22, pose for a photograph on the roof of a house in Chacrinha favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 4, 2016. The future once looked anything but bright for Lohaynny and Luana Vicente, Brazilian sisters whose father, a drug dealer, was killed in a shootout with police when they were four and six years old. But sixteen years after that tragic day, the two sisters are elite athletes and rising stars in badminton, a sport little played in a country better known for soccer and surfing. So far have they come that Lohaynny, now 20, classified to compete in the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. REUTERS/Nacho Doce SEARCH "SISTERS BADMINTON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Brazilian badminton players Luana Vicente (R), 18, and her sister Lohaynny (L), 16, pose with their late grandfather Edison Bastiao de Oliveira in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in this handout photograph taken in 2012. The future once looked anything but bright for Lohaynny and Luana Vicente, Brazilian sisters whose father, a drug dealer, was killed in a shootout with police when they were four and six years old. But sixteen years after that tragic day, the two sisters are elite athletes and rising stars in badminton, a sport little played in a country better known for soccer and surfing. So far have they come that Lohaynny, now 20, classified to compete in the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Courtesy of Vicente de Oliveira Family/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. SEARCH "SISTERS BADMINTON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Brazilian badminton player Luana Vicente (C), 16, holds a Brazilian flag on the podium during the XX Pan Am Junior Championships 2011 in this handout photograph taken in 2011. The future once looked anything but bright for Lohaynny and Luana Vicente, Brazilian sisters whose father, a drug dealer, was killed in a shootout with police when they were four and six years old. But sixteen years after that tragic day, the two sisters are elite athletes and rising stars in badminton, a sport little played in a country better known for soccer and surfing. So far have they come that Lohaynny, now 20, classified to compete in the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Courtesy of Vicente de Oliveira Family/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. SEARCH "SISTERS BADMINTON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Brazilian badminton player Luana Vicente (R), 7, celebrates her birthday next to her sister Lohaynny in Chacrinha favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in this handout photograph taken in 2001. The future once looked anything but bright for Lohaynny and Luana Vicente, Brazilian sisters whose father, a drug dealer, was killed in a shootout with police when they were four and six years old. But sixteen years after that tragic day, the two sisters are elite athletes and rising stars in badminton, a sport little played in a country better known for soccer and surfing. So far have they come that Lohaynny, now 20, classified to compete in the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Courtesy of Vicente de Oliveira Family/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. SEARCH "SISTERS BADMINTON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Brazilian badminton players Lohaynny (R), 20, and her sister Luana Vicente, 22, hold their silver medals from the 2015 Pan American Games, in Chacrinha favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 4, 2016. The future once looked anything but bright for Lohaynny and Luana Vicente, Brazilian sisters whose father, a drug dealer, was killed in a shootout with police when they were four and six years old. But sixteen years after that tragic day, the two sisters are elite athletes and rising stars in badminton, a sport little played in a country better known for soccer and surfing. So far have they come that Lohaynny, now 20, classified to compete in the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. REUTERS/Nacho Doce SEARCH "SISTERS BADMINTON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Brazilian badminton player Lohaynny Vicente, 20, warms up before a game against Delphine Lansac of France during the 31st Brazil International Badminton Cup in Sao Paulo, Brazil, March 11, 2016. REUTERS/Nacho Doce
Brazilian badminton player Luana Vicente, 22, holds a soft drink at a relative's bar in Madureira neighbourhood in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 4, 2016. The future once looked anything but bright for Lohaynny and Luana Vicente, Brazilian sisters whose father, a drug dealer, was killed in a shootout with police when they were four and six years old. But sixteen years after that tragic day, the two sisters are elite athletes and rising stars in badminton, a sport little played in a country better known for soccer and surfing. So far have they come that Lohaynny, now 20, classified to compete in the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. REUTERS/Nacho Doce SEARCH "SISTERS BADMINTON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Brazilian badminton player Lohaynny Vicente (L), 20, jokes with her cousin Willian Gabriel, 12, in Madureira neighbourhood in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 4, 2016. The future once looked anything but bright for Lohaynny and Luana Vicente, Brazilian sisters whose father, a drug dealer, was killed in a shootout with police when they were four and six years old. But sixteen years after that tragic day, the two sisters are elite athletes and rising stars in badminton, a sport little played in a country better known for soccer and surfing. So far have they come that Lohaynny, now 20, classified to compete in the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. REUTERS/Nacho Doce SEARCH "SISTERS BADMINTON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Brazilian badminton player Lohanny Vicente (L), 20, gestures to a physical therapist as her sister Luana (2nd R), 22, talks to her coach Marco Vasconcelos of Portugal during the XX Pan Am Team Championships 2016 in Campinas, Sao Paulo state, Brazil, April 27, 2016. The future once looked anything but bright for Lohaynny and Luana Vicente, Brazilian sisters whose father, a drug dealer, was killed in a shootout with police when they were four and six years old. But sixteen years after that tragic day, the two sisters are elite athletes and rising stars in badminton, a sport little played in a country better known for soccer and surfing. So far have they come that Lohaynny, now 20, classified to compete in the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. REUTERS/Nacho Doce SEARCH "SISTERS BADMINTON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Florisbela Vicente, the grandmother of Brazilian badminton players Lohaynny and Luana Vicente, holds a racket of one of her granddaughters in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 4, 2016. The future once looked anything but bright for Lohaynny and Luana Vicente, Brazilian sisters whose father, a drug dealer, was killed in a shootout with police when they were four and six years old. But sixteen years after that tragic day, the two sisters are elite athletes and rising stars in badminton, a sport little played in a country better known for soccer and surfing. So far have they come that Lohaynny, now 20, classified to compete in the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. REUTERS/Nacho Doce SEARCH "SISTERS BADMINTON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Brazilian badminton players, sisters Lohaynny (L), 20, and Luana Vicente, 22 (R), their mother Catia Mendes de Oliveira Vicente (2nd L), 42, and grandmother Florisbela Vicente (2nd R), stand at the Madureira park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 4, 2016. The future once looked anything but bright for Lohaynny and Luana Vicente, Brazilian sisters whose father, a drug dealer, was killed in a shootout with police when they were four and six years old. But sixteen years after that tragic day, the two sisters are elite athletes and rising stars in badminton, a sport little played in a country better known for soccer and surfing. So far have they come that Lohaynny, now 20, classified to compete in the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. REUTERS/Nacho Doce SEARCH "SISTERS BADMINTON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Brazilian badminton players Lohaynny Vicente (L), 20, and her sister Luana Vicente, 22, play against Canadians Stephanie Pakenham and Josephine Wu during the XX Pan Am Team Championships 2016 in Campinas, Sao Paulo state, Brazil, April 27, 2016. The future once looked anything but bright for Lohaynny and Luana Vicente, Brazilian sisters whose father, a drug dealer, was killed in a shootout with police when they were four and six years old. But sixteen years after that tragic day, the two sisters are elite athletes and rising stars in badminton, a sport little played in a country better known for soccer and surfing. So far have they come that Lohaynny, now 20, classified to compete in the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. REUTERS/Nacho Doce SEARCH "SISTERS BADMINTON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
The team mates of Brazilian badminton players Luana and Loahynny Vicente cheer for them during the XX Pan Am Team Championships 2016 in Campinas, Sao Paulo state, Brazil, April 27, 2016. The future once looked anything but bright for Lohaynny and Luana Vicente, Brazilian sisters whose father, a drug dealer, was killed in a shootout with police when they were four and six years old. But sixteen years after that tragic day, the two sisters are elite athletes and rising stars in badminton, a sport little played in a country better known for soccer and surfing. So far have they come that Lohaynny, now 20, classified to compete in the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. REUTERS/Nacho Doce SEARCH "SISTERS BADMINTON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Brazilian badminton players Lohaynny Vicente (R), 20, and her sister Luana Vicente, 22, play against Japanese Chisato Hoshi and Naru Shinoya during the 31st Brazil International Badminton Cup in Sao Paulo, Brazil, March 12, 2016. The future once looked anything but bright for Lohaynny and Luana Vicente, Brazilian sisters whose father, a drug dealer, was killed in a shootout with police when they were four and six years old. But sixteen years after that tragic day, the two sisters are elite athletes and rising stars in badminton, a sport little played in a country better known for soccer and surfing. So far have they come that Lohaynny, now 20, classified to compete in the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. REUTERS/Nacho Doce SEARCH "SISTERS BADMINTON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Brazilian badminton player Luana Vicente (C), 20, cheers next to her team mates during a game of the XX Pan Am Team Championships 2016 in Campinas, Sao Paulo state, Brazil, April 27, 2016. The future once looked anything but bright for Lohaynny and Luana Vicente, Brazilian sisters whose father, a drug dealer, was killed in a shootout with police when they were four and six years old. But sixteen years after that tragic day, the two sisters are elite athletes and rising stars in badminton, a sport little played in a country better known for soccer and surfing. So far have they come that Lohaynny, now 20, classified to compete in the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. REUTERS/Nacho Doce SEARCH "SISTERS BADMINTON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Brazilian badminton players Lohanny Vicente (4th L), 20, and her sister Luana Vicente (3rd R) embrace with their team mates before the XX Pan Am Team Championships 2016 in Campinas, Sao Paulo state, Brazil, April 27, 2016. The future once looked anything but bright for Lohaynny and Luana Vicente, Brazilian sisters whose father, a drug dealer, was killed in a shootout with police when they were four and six years old. But sixteen years after that tragic day, the two sisters are elite athletes and rising stars in badminton, a sport little played in a country better known for soccer and surfing. So far have they come that Lohaynny, now 20, classified to compete in the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. REUTERS/Nacho Doce SEARCH "SISTERS BADMINTON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Brazilian badminton players Lohaynny Vicente (L), 20, and her sister Luana Vicente, 22, play badminton on the roof of a house in Chacrinha favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 4, 2016. The future once looked anything but bright for Lohaynny and Luana Vicente, Brazilian sisters whose father, a drug dealer, was killed in a shootout with police when they were four and six years old. But sixteen years after that tragic day, the two sisters are elite athletes and rising stars in badminton, a sport little played in a country better known for soccer and surfing. So far have they come that Lohaynny, now 20, classified to compete in the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. REUTERS/Nacho Doce SEARCH "SISTERS BADMINTON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Brazilian badminton player Luana Vicente (C), 22, cheers for her sister Lohaynny during a game of the XX Pan Am Team Championships 2016 in Campinas, Sao Paulo state, Brazil, April 27, 2016. The future once looked anything but bright for Lohaynny and Luana Vicente, Brazilian sisters whose father, a drug dealer, was killed in a shootout with police when they were four and six years old. But sixteen years after that tragic day, the two sisters are elite athletes and rising stars in badminton, a sport little played in a country better known for soccer and surfing. So far have they come that Lohaynny, now 20, classified to compete in the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. REUTERS/Nacho Doce SEARCH "SISTERS BADMINTON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Brazilian badminton players Lohaynny, 20, and her sister Luana Vicente, 22, walk down the stairs in Chacrinha favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 4, 2016. The future once looked anything but bright for Lohaynny and Luana Vicente, Brazilian sisters whose father, a drug dealer, was killed in a shootout with police when they were four and six years old. But sixteen years after that tragic day, the two sisters are elite athletes and rising stars in badminton, a sport little played in a country better known for soccer and surfing. So far have they come that Lohaynny, now 20, classified to compete in the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. REUTERS/Nacho Doce SEARCH "SISTERS BADMINTON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Brazilian badminton players Lohaynny Vicente (R), 20, and her sister Luana Vicente, 22, use their mobile phones as they stand on the top of a house in Chacrinha favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 4, 2016. The future once looked anything but bright for Lohaynny and Luana Vicente, Brazilian sisters whose father, a drug dealer, was killed in a shootout with police when they were four and six years old. But sixteen years after that tragic day, the two sisters are elite athletes and rising stars in badminton, a sport little played in a country better known for soccer and surfing. So far have they come that Lohaynny, now 20, classified to compete in the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. REUTERS/Nacho Doce SEARCH "SISTERS BADMINTON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Brazilian badminton players Lohaynny Vicente (L), 20, and her sister Luana Vicente, 22, pose for a photograph on the roof of a house in Chacrinha favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 4, 2016. The future once looked anything but bright for Lohaynny and Luana Vicente, Brazilian sisters whose father, a drug dealer, was killed in a shootout with police when they were four and six years old. But sixteen years after that tragic day, the two sisters are elite athletes and rising stars in badminton, a sport little played in a country better known for soccer and surfing. So far have they come that Lohaynny, now 20, classified to compete in the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. REUTERS/Nacho Doce SEARCH "SISTERS BADMINTON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Brazilian badminton player Luana Vicente talks on her mobile phone before the XX Pan Am Team Championships 2016 in Campinas, Sao Paulo state, Brazil, April 27, 2016. The future once looked anything but bright for Lohaynny and Luana Vicente, Brazilian sisters whose father, a drug dealer, was killed in a shootout with police when they were four and six years old. But sixteen years after that tragic day, the two sisters are elite athletes and rising stars in badminton, a sport little played in a country better known for soccer and surfing. So far have they come that Lohaynny, now 20, classified to compete in the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. REUTERS/Nacho Doce SEARCH "SISTERS BADMINTON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Brazilian badminton player Lohaynny Vicente, 20, hits a return to Delphine Lansac of France during the 31st Brazil International Badminton Cup in Sao Paulo, Brazil, March 11, 2016. The future once looked anything but bright for Lohaynny and Luana Vicente, Brazilian sisters whose father, a drug dealer, was killed in a shootout with police when they were four and six years old. But sixteen years after that tragic day, the two sisters are elite athletes and rising stars in badminton, a sport little played in a country better known for soccer and surfing. So far have they come that Lohaynny, now 20, classified to compete in the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. REUTERS/Nacho Doce SEARCH "SISTERS BADMINTON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Brazilian badminton players Lohaynny Vicente (front), 20, and her sister Luana Vicente, 22, play against Japanese Chisato Hoshi and Naru Shinoya during the 31st Brazil International Badminton Cup in Sao Paulo, Brazil, March 12, 2016. The future once looked anything but bright for Lohaynny and Luana Vicente, Brazilian sisters whose father, a drug dealer, was killed in a shootout with police when they were four and six years old. But sixteen years after that tragic day, the two sisters are elite athletes and rising stars in badminton, a sport little played in a country better known for soccer and surfing. So far have they come that Lohaynny, now 20, classified to compete in the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. REUTERS/Nacho Doce SEARCH "SISTERS BADMINTON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Brazilian badminton players Lohaynny Vicente (L), 20, and her sister Luana Vicente, 22, celebrate a point against Japanese Chisato Hoshi and Naru Shinoya during the 31st Brazil International Badminton Cup in Sao Paulo, Brazil, March 12, 2016. The future once looked anything but bright for Lohaynny and Luana Vicente, Brazilian sisters whose father, a drug dealer, was killed in a shootout with police when they were four and six years old. But sixteen years after that tragic day, the two sisters are elite athletes and rising stars in badminton, a sport little played in a country better known for soccer and surfing. So far have they come that Lohaynny, now 20, classified to compete in the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. REUTERS/Nacho Doce SEARCH "SISTERS BADMINTON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Brazilian badminton players Lohaynny Vicente (L), 20, and her sister Luana Vicente, 22, stand under a set of Olympic rings installed at Madureira Park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 4, 2016. The future once looked anything but bright for Lohaynny and Luana Vicente, Brazilian sisters whose father, a drug dealer, was killed in a shootout with police when they were four and six years old. But sixteen years after that tragic day, the two sisters are elite athletes and rising stars in badminton, a sport little played in a country better known for soccer and surfing. So far have they come that Lohaynny, now 20, classified to compete in the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. REUTERS/Nacho Doce SEARCH "SISTERS BADMINTON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
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RIO DE JANEIRO, May 11 (Reuters) - The future looked anything but bright for Brazilian sisters Lohaynny, 4, and Luana Vicente, 6, when their father, a drug dealer, was killed in a shootout with police.

But sixteen years later, the two sisters are elite athletes and rising stars in badminton, a sport little played in a country better known for soccer and surfing.

They have come so far that Lohaynny, now 20, qualified to compete in the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, a city that is not just their hometown, but the host of the first Olympics in South America.

"It's the first time Brazil will compete in Olympic badminton and I am the first woman chosen to compete," says Lohaynny, eagerly awaiting the games, which start Aug. 5.

While Luana did not make the cutoff in global rankings, she is proud of having introduced Lohaynny to the sport and playing beside her in doubles, winning a silver medal together at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.

"Everyone can go as far as they want," says Luana, dismissing their early hardships. "You have to want it. I wanted this and worked very hard for it."

As toddlers, the girls moved around frequently with their father as he hid from police and rival drug gangs in Rio's notorious favelas, slums that often lack basic services, including police.

After their father died in the western part of the city, the girls' mother moved them to Chacrinha, a favela in northern Rio. Though badminton rackets and shuttlecocks are as rare as police in some favelas, a coach had set up a program to teach the sport to kids in the community.

First Luana, then Lohaynny, excelled.

Now, they live in a house paid for by the Brazilian Badminton Federation in Campinas, near São Paulo. They earn a salary from the federation and enjoy sponsorship deals.

After practicing all day, they study. And occasionally, they get home to Rio, where there mother now lives in a house in a middle-class neighborhood, not far from the favela where they first swung their rackets.

Standing recently under a set of Olympic rings installed in a Rio park, Lohaynny marvels at their good fortune.

"At times I can't even believe I qualified," she says. "It will only sink in when I'm there with the other athletes, when I begin to compete."

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