The Brazilian volleyball world was shocked this Thursday by the news that recently retired 29-year-old player Elder Coutinho was killed by a supposedly uncontrolled vehicle that entered the sports arena where he worked. Elder, who retired in 2017 after receiving an invitation to join his city’s government as a sports secretary, is famous for having backed up legendary Olympic Champion setter Ricardo Garcia in Maringá for two seasons.
Reports have it that the vehicle, a Toyota Hylux truck, lost control in the streets and swerved into the arena, hitting Elder and injuring two kids. The driver, who tried to flee the scene, was arrested by the police, who is working with the possibility that the act was a premeditated murder attempt.
Many Superliga teams shared their sentiments on social media, specially Maringa:
“Today the world of volleyball is sad. We lost Elder Coutinho, who played with us for two seasons. Elder was present last year in our games as well, invited to hand out post-match MVP trophies. Today we celebrate this great athlete and friend’s life. May he now shine in heaven.”
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Hoje o mundo do vôlei ficou mais triste. #luto Perdemos o jogador Elder Coutinho, que jogou por duas temporadas no Copel Telecom Maringá Vôlei. O levantador pediu pra se desligar depois de receber uma proposta para ser secretário de Esportes em Assis Chateaubriand. Elder esteve conosco em quadra no ano passado, entregando o prêmio Viva Vôlei. Fica nossa homenagem ao grande atleta e amigo. Brilhe no céu! 🙌 @elderfcoutinho #13