Samanta Almeida Bullock was born in Osorio-Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil in 1979 and grew up with the ambition to go into modelling, whilst spending a huge amount of her free time playing tennis. She was a young girl, determined to follow her dreams, come what may.
However in 1992, her determination was really put to the test. She fell victim to a shooting accident that left her as a T12-L1 paraplegic in a village where opportunities for people with disabilities were few, if any. However, Samanta was ever determined that her new situation would in no way alter her dreams and snatched up every opportunity she could, including moving to Rio a few years later, where she again began modelling. Determined that tennis wouldn’t elude her either, she took up wheelchair tennis in her twenties, going on to win silver in the woman’s doubles of the 2007 Parapan American Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Samanta and her husband Mark Bullock also played a huge role in the London 2012 Paralympic games as representatives of the International Tennis Federation, as well as Samanta even taking a bit of extra time to train and perform on a sway pole and trapeze in the opening ceremony. Samanta is a living, breathing example that being ‘confined’ to the use of a wheelchair can inspire and excel you to reach heights you may never have been able to if you weren’t different.