Flavio Santos apresenta Guilherme Paraense

 Guilherme Paraense nasceu na então província do Grão-Pará, na cidade de Belém, em 25 de julho de 1884. Viajou para o Rio com apenas 5 anos de idade. O paisano entrou para a Escola Preparatória e Tática do Exército, de nível secundário, no ano de 1901. Durante os anos em que frequentou os cursos da escola do Realengo não foi exatamente um aluno brilhante. Quase sempre tirando notas para ser aprovado simplesmente, e não plenamente como eram classificados os resultados dos alunos com notas mais altas. Uma das exceções, já antecipando uma capacidade natural, foram suas notas no curso de Balística e treinos de tiro.

Guilherme Paraense. Revista do Esporte. 1967. Acervo BNRJ

Enquanto frequentava a Escola de Guerra, participou de um manifesto político nacional, assinado por acadêmicos castilhistas, em abril de 1907. Dentre os subscritores estava o futuro presidente Getúlio Vargas. Seu engajamento na “causa” castilhista antecipa e revela suas tendências político-ideológicas. Mais tarde, na chamada Revolução de 1930, apoiou os golpistas contra o presidente Washington Luís, fortificando e guarnecendo os túneis Alaor Prata e Novo, importantes artérias de ligação do Rio de Janeiro antigo. Conclui os estudos na Escola de Guerra em 1910 e obtém licença ministerial para se matricular na Escola de Aplicação. Foi convocado a se reapresentar no quartel-general da antiga 9.a região militar em 1911. Era aspirante à oficial da Escola de Artilharia e Engenharia do Exército e foi nomeado instrutor do Tiro de Guerra n.96, no bairro carioca da Pavuna, no ano 1912.

Armamento Colt cedido aos Brasileiros. Sem data. Imagem de Internet.

Não se sabe quando começou a disputar provas de tiro ao alvo, mas certamente já era um exímio atirador quando dos tempos de preparação militar. Em julho de 1912 o então ministro plenipotenciário argentino, o General Julio Roca, em visita ao Brasil, assistiu à formatura de uma série de sociedades de tiro da antiga Capital. O ministro fez questão de elogiar os participantes, dentre eles o aspirante Guilherme Paraense, pelo brilhantismo com que se apresentou.

Paraense disputou centenas de provas de tiro durante a década de 20 e sempre terminou entre os primeiros. Atleta do Fluminense F. C., foi por diversas vezes campeão estadual do Rio de Janeiro e Brasileiro. Costumava competir com um revólver Smith & Wesson ou com uma pistola Parabellum, atirando contra alvos circulares com distância de 50 metros, nos estandes das várias sociedades de tiro do Rio, como a Confederação do Tiro Brasileiro, em Niterói e o Revólver Club, na rua Fonte da Saudade, fundado pelo próprio Guilherme. A multiplicidade de campeonatos e de locais de prova evidenciam uma certa familiaridade da sociedade da época com o manejo de armas. Os eventos eram familiares e quase sempre as mulheres eram estimuladas a disputar em categorias específicas. 

Clube dos Campeões. Maria Lenk. Elói Menezes. Paraense. Abílio Couto e Belini. Correio da Manhã. 1960. Acervo BNRJ

Já 2.o tenente do Exército, fora promovido em abril de 1915, se tornou uma pequena celebridade na segunda metade daquela década, sempre convocado para se apresentar em festividades civis e militares. Com o prestígio, era frequentemente convidado para ser presidente de pequenos clubes e  ligas esportivas. Entre os anos 1919 e 1920 foi presidente da Liga Suburbana de Futebol. Certa vez, envolvido com os problemas futebolísticos típicos, ao eliminar um clube da temporada da divisão suburbana, ganhou de um colunista de jornal a alcunha de Kaiser da Suburbana O mesmo prestígio o fez ser convidado para participar da delegação brasileira dos jogos de Antuérpia, em 1920. Paraense levou para a Europa a bagagem de Campeão Brasileiro de Tiro de 1913, 1914, 1916 e 1917 (em outras fontes, 1915 e 1918) e Campeão Fluminense em 1915 e 1918.

Delegação brasileira em Antuépia. Guilherme Paraense está segurando a bandeira. Sem data. Imagem de Internet.

 A delegação olímpica brasileira embarcou no dia 1 de julho de 1920, na 3.a classe no navio Curvello, embarcação do Lloyd Brasileiro. Tratava-se de um paquete de segunda mão (antigo Gertrud-Woerman, alemão, usado na carreira entre a Alemanha e suas colônias africanas). A viagem foi uma aventura. Comandados pelo chefe da delegação, o Dr. Roberto Trompowsky Júnior, os atletas brasileiros embarcaram para a 7.a edição dos Jogos Olímpicos. A delegação de tiro era chefiada pelo Dr. Afrânio Costa (diretor do Fluminense Football Club) e composta por militares, os primeiros-tenentes Demerval Peixoto, Mário Maurity e Guilherme Paraense, e por civis, o Dr. Sebastião Wolf, Dr. Fernando Soledade e Dario Barbosa. 

Delegação Americana participante dos Jogos de Antuérpia. Revista Sport Illustrado. 1939. Acervo BNRJ

Saindo do Rio de Janeiro a bordo do Curvello, alguns atletas foram acomodados no chão de um bar (tinham que esperar o expediente acabar) e outros em camarotes apertados sem janela. Ao aportarem na Ilha da Madeira, descobriram que não chegariam em Bruxelas em tempo hábil para o início dos Jogos. Preferiram viajar de trem, embarcando em Lisboa. Para infelicidade dos atletas, a composição tinha vagões descobertos e sujeitos às intempéries. Após 28 dias, finalmente chegaram ao destino, mas parte do armamento foi furtado numa conexão em Bruxelas. O problema foi resolvido por Afrânio Costa, que se enturmou com atletas norte-americanos. Uma versão diz que os americanos ficaram sensibilizados com a situação. Outros, que Afrânio conquistou a simpatia dos americanos com dicas sobre lances de jogo de xadrez. O certo é que parte da delegação competiu com equipamento cedido pelos americanos.

Desembarque de Guilherme Paraense (de uniforme ao centro ao lado do menino) no porto do Rio. Revista Careta. 1920. Acervo BNRJ

Paraense venceu o americano Raymond Bracken (o mesmo que emprestou o armamento) por uma diferença de dois pontos, somou 274 dos 300 disputados, na prova de pistola rápida. Ele atirou na mosca utilizando balas S & W 38 Special, fabricadas pela Winchester Co., se tornando o primeiro brasileiro a conquistar o ouro olímpico. Afrânio conquistou uma medalha de prata e, por equipe, os atletas do tiro ganharam uma de bronze.

Dr. Afrânio Costa Chefe da Delegação de Tiro em Antuérpia. Revista Fon Fon. 1920. Acervo BNRJ

Ao desembarcarem no Rio de Janeiro, os atletas foram recebidos com as festividades de praxe e todo apoio que faltou na preparação e na viagem. As homenagens se prolongaram. Em 1921 foram homenageados pela Liga da Defesa Nacional no salão nobre do Fluminense F.C. O evento contou com a presença do presidente da República, Epitácio Pessoa.

Grupo de Atiradores no Revolver Club. Revista Fon Fon. 1917. Acervo BNRJ

No contexto das comemorações do centenário da Independência do Brasil, Guilherme Paraense foi campeão sul-americano de tiro com revólver nos jogos que aconteceram durante a Exposição Internacional de 1922. Entre os anos de 1924 e 1925, a revista Fon Fon resolveu fazer um concurso nacional para saber quais eram os maiores brasileiros vivos. Venceu, na categoria Sportsmen, Arnaldo Guinle e, em segundo lugar, Guilherme Paraense. Prosseguiu competindo até se aposentar da vida esportiva, em 1927, quando se tornou Campeão Brasileiro de tiro com revólver e pistola.

Guilherme Paraense (de uniforme ao centro) na Liga Suburbana de Futebol. Revista Epoca Esportiva. 1919. Acervo BNRJ

Passou para a reserva remunerada do Exército em 1941 como tenente-coronel. Em 1960 compôs, junto a outros atletas consagrados, o Clube dos Campeões, instituição paulista que pretendia apresentar soluções para os problemas do esporte brasileiro. Em 1965 ganhou a Cruz do Mérito Desportivo. Foi selecionado por Ricardo Cravo Albim, diretor do Museu da Imagem e do Som do Rio de Janeiro para deixar seu depoimento para posteridade, em 1967. Guilherme Paraense foi ainda esgrimista, cavaleiro e jogador de futebol. Faleceu, vítima de infarto do miocárdio, aos 83 anos de idade no dia 18 de Abril de 1968, mais reverenciado na Europa do que no Brasil.

Guilherme Paraense no Revolver Club. Revista Fon Fon. 1917. Acervo BNRJ
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