Be ready to strike. Own your success.

En garde – the dream of the Paralympic Games

Dreams are there to be lived – that’s Fred De Oliveira’s motto. This young man gets closer to his goal with every thrust of the épée: He wants to be the first Swiss wheelchair fencer to participate in the Paralympic Games.

With pleasant modesty, Fred De Oliveira introduces himself on his website as follows: “I’m Fred De Oliveira. I was born in Bern on February 28, 1999 with cerebral palsy. It affects me in such a way that I require help when walking and I cannot stand freely. That’s why my wheelchair and walker are my daily companions.”

About two out of every 1,000 children worldwide are affected by cerebral palsy, a disorder of the nervous and muscular systems. Although there is no cure for cerebral palsy, physiotherapy and occupational and speech therapy can help to achieve the greatest possible independence.

image

Hooked from the beginning

Hooked from the beginning

Fred discovered fencing at the Paraplegic Association’s Kids’ Camp in Nottwil (Lucerne, Switzerland) in 2010, and was thrilled right from the start. Because Fred loves everything involving action and martial arts. Some may consider themselves amateur fencers at best after nine years, but not Fred, who pursued ambitious goals right from the beginning and thanks to his will power has competed in dozens of international tournaments.

image

Fast, strong and precise

Fast, strong and precise

At the age of 20, Fred is about 15 years younger than his top 10 international rivals. He trains 10 hours a week with Maître (fencing master) Gabriel Nielaba at Fechtclub Bern. Nielaba was head coach of the German wheelchair fencing team from 1996 to 2000, and helped it achieve great success in the Paralympic Games in Atlanta and Sydney.

image

Driven by courage

Driven by courage

With limited mobility and impaired back and abdominal coordination, Fred belongs to fencing category B. Since there are hardly any wheelchair fencers in Switzerland, Fred trains with able-bodied fencers who sit in a chair for the training session.

In tournaments, Fred is not afraid to compete against the stronger and faster wheelchair fencers of fencing category A. For his courage and outstanding performance, he was awarded a medal in the Netherlands in 2017.

Wheelchair fencing categories

Category A: Back and abdominal muscles are still completely intact. Standing and walking is partially possible.

Category B: Back and abdominal muscles are not completely present. Arms and legs are functional.

Category C: In addition to the back and abdominal muscles, arms and hands are also not fully functional.

The classification is made by a classification commission, which has developed a procedure using fencing-specific functional tests.

Wheelchair fencing rules

Wheelchair fencing rules

Basically, the rules are the same for wheelchair fencers as for ablebodied fencers. The wheelchair is fixed to the ground on metal platforms, and the distance between the two athletes is determined by arm length and épée. In Fred’s discipline, épée fencing, hits to the upper body and mask count as points.

Always at Fred’s side: his mother, Kathrin

Always at Fred’s side: his mother, Kathrin

Kathrin, on the right in the picture, is project manager for Vision Paralympics Tokyo 2020 and cofounder of the Swiss working group Rollstuhlfechter Schweiz; she manages communications for her son, acts as his coach and training partner, and carries out fund raising. Kathrin learned how to fence in order that she could train with Fred before his competitions abroad. It is thanks to her great dedication that Fred can live out his passion. Kathrin and Fred are real pioneers: together they are actively engaged in sustainably establishing wheelchair fencing in Switzerland.

Fred’s musical muse

Fred’s musical muse

In addition to his practical training (PrA) after INSOS at the commercial vocational school and training, Fred also finds time for another passion: music. Fred is not only a talented wheelchair fencer, but also an avid electric guitarist. Just recently, he went to London to pick up his new electric guitar, for which he had saved for a full year. It’s probably no coincidence that this is the same model used by Muse frontman Matthew Bellamy, since Fred’s repertoire consists mainly of songs by the British rock band. “If Fred wants something, he is pretty stubborn,” says Kathrin with a smile.

Next stop: the Paralympic Games

Next stop: the Paralympic Games

For Fred, there’s no question: he wants to compete in the Paralympic Games. The next few months will decide whether he has done enough for the Paralympic Games 2020 in Tokyo. If his effort is not successful this time around, it comes as no surprise to learn that he won’t give up and will keep on fighting, so that he can be in Paris in 2024.

No matter what, for Fred, every experience and exchange with other wheelchair fencers is enriching and brings him one step closer to his big goal: participating in the Paralympic Games.

Follow Fred’s journey

Agenda

2019
November: World Cup in Amsterdam, Netherlands

2020
February: World Cup in Eger, Hungary
February: Possibly World Championship U23, Thailand
March: World Cup Americas Region, possibly Sao Paolo, Brazil

In spring, the selection will be made for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Agenda

2019
November: World Cup in Amsterdam, Netherlands

2020
February: World Cup in Eger, Hungary
February: Possibly World Championship U23, Thailand
March: World Cup Americas Region, possibly Sao Paolo, Brazil

In spring, the selection will be made for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

letstalk

Courage and willpower

Fred De Oliveira has always believed in himself. His discipline and ambition are the signs of a self-assured young man who recognizes his potential and always challenges himself.

These are qualities that we share at Vontobel. Because we have an unwavering confidence in the future and in our ability to take advantage of change and opportunity. Our goal is to recognize and promote the talent of our employees. We encourage them to fully exploit their own potential, to act on their own responsibility and to be satisfied only with the best quality, both as specialists and as people.

Do you value courage and willpower? Then get in touch with us.

Do you value courage and willpower? Then get in touch with us.

Contact
Stay curious. Own your success.

Creating an opportunity for critical thinking: the library buses in Kabul

Read the story
Take a stand. Own your success.

When action speaks louder than words – Wrestling Cholitas

Read the story
Stay curious. Own your success.

Creating an opportunity for critical thinking: the library buses in Kabul

Read the story
Take a stand. Own your success.

When action speaks louder than words – Wrestling Cholitas

Read the story

We are a globally operating financial expert with Swiss roots

At Vontobel, we actively shape the future. We create and pursue opportunities with determination. We master what we do – and we only do what we master. This is how we get our clients ahead.

As a globally operating financial expert with Swiss roots, we specialize in wealth management, active asset management and investment solutions. We empower our colleagues to take ownership of their work and bring opportunities to life. Because we are convinced that successful investing starts with assuming personal responsibility. We relentlessly question the achieved, striving to exceed the goals and expectations of our clients.

The registered shares of the Vontobel Holding AG are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange. The Vontobel families’ close ties to the company guarantee our entrepreneurial independence. We consider the resulting freedom an obligation to assume social responsibility as well.



Wealth Management

Vontobel Wealth Management is committed to actively managing client assets with foresight across generations. We take a holistic approach, accurately monitor the markets, anticipate trends and opportunities, and develop individual solutions. This is how we protect the entrusted assets and create optimal conditions to increase them over the long term while taking controlled risks.

More about Vontobel Wealth Management

Asset Management

Vontobel Asset Management is an active asset manager with global reach and a multiboutique approach. Each of our boutiques draws on specialized investment talent, a strong performance culture and robust risk management. We deliver leading-edge solutions for both institutional and private clients.

More about Vontobel Asset Management

Platforms and Services

Vontobel aimes to be the leading investment partner for financial intermediaries in Switzerland, Germany and Asia, combining technology, investment solutions and Swiss custody and execution services.

Our offering comprises the full range of Vontobel investment content and solutions, across all asset classes. This includes all our platforms such as EAMnet and deritrade as well as our services such as investment strategy and advisory. We will make sure you will get full access to the respective investment specialists.

More about Vontobel Platforms and Services

Digital Investing

Digital Investing bundles different investment solutions for private investors either directly or via ecosystems. It will also focus on the successful end-client business with structured products and complement it with a broader investment perspective.

More about Vontobel Digital Investing

Do you value courage and willpower? Then get in touch with us.

This field is required.
This field is required.
This field is required.
This field is required.
This field is required.
This field is required.

The data transmitted to Vontobel using this form are sent encrypted via the Internet. However, the possibility of unauthorized third parties accessing the transmitted data, particularly using malware on the computer, cannot fully be excluded. If you are using this form to send confidential data (e.g. your account number), you accept the risk of disclosure of your banking relationship and bank account information to third parties and you release Vontobel from any and all liability for damages incurred as a result of the use of this form, to the extent that such release is permitted by the law.

By providing your phone number and/or email address, you declare your express consent to Vontobel contacting you by phone and/or unsecured email. The personal data provided by you are used and stored to handle and process your inquiry and in order for us to perform our contractual duties in connection with the services chosen by you. The personal data may be processed on behalf of Vontobel by a subcontractor engaged by Vontobel, including outside your own or Vontobel’s location. Your personal data are processed and stored for the duration of our business relationship. In addition, we are subject to a number of duties to retain and document. Finally, the duration of storage is also determined by the statutory limitation periods.

Please note that the use of email and electronic means of communication involves significant risks, such as lack of confidentiality, possible manipulation of contents or sender, dispatch to the wrong recipient, viruses, etc. Vontobel does not accept any responsibility for damages in connection with the use of emails and electronic means of communication. Vontobel therefore also recommends that you do not send sensitive information by email, that received text is not included in responses and that the email address is newly entered manually each time.

Vontobel does not accept orders for commercial transactions such as the opening of accounts, payment or stock market orders, cancellations of orders or authorizations, blocking of credit cards, changes of address etc. via this form. Please contact your branch or your relationship manager with regard to such transactions.



Bank Vontobel AG
General Counsel
Gotthardstrasse 43
CH-8022 Zürich

This field is required.
*Mandatory information