Flávio Vianna de Ulhôa Canto (born April 16, 1975 in Oxford, England) is a male judoka and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt from Brazil, who won the bronze medal in the half middleweight (– 81 kg) division at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.
He previously competed at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. Canto won three medals in a row at the Pan American Games: 1995, 1999 and 2003.
Besides his judo successes Canto is also well known in Brazil for is work in aiding underprivelegd children in the shanty towns of Rio de Janeiro.
Flavio Canto spent most of his teenage years training in judo, in hopes he would achieve Olympic gold. But today, the Brazilian athlete considers his defeat at the 2000 Olympic trials one of his greatest victories.
More than 1,000 students are enrolled in judo athlete Flavio Canto's Reaction Institute.
The loss led Canto -- who later won bronze at the 2004 Olympic Games -- back to his native Rio de Janeiro. Since then, he has helped thousands of young people from the city's toughest shanty towns find hope in the midst of hardship.
"I've never seen any place as beautiful as Rio de Janeiro, but it does have its dark side," said Canto, 34. "There is violence all over."
Millions of poor families populate Brazil's favelas, or shanty towns, and roughly 60 percent of the country's homicides happen there, according to Brazil's Institute of Applied Economic Research.
The favelas' vulnerable youth face two constant challenges, Canto said: falling victim to the violence or choosing to become a young perpetrator of it.
"It's the kids who have it toughest," said Canto. "They are told every day, 'You're not going to advance. If you are born in the favela, you're going to die in the favela.' And that's an idea that we try to break
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Bronze 2004 Athens -81 kg
Pan American Games
Gold 2003 Santo Domingo -81 kg
Silver 1999 Winnipeg -81 kg
Bronze 1995 Mar del Plata -78 kg
South American Games
Gold 2002 Rio de Janeiro -81 kg
Pan American Judo Championships
Gold 2010 San Salvador