A second-generation Olympian, Sergio Pessoa made his Games debut at London 2012 with a top-20 finish in the 60kg division. Pessoa had received a bye through the first round before being eliminated in his first match when Kazakhstan’s Yerkebulan Kossayev defeated him in golden score time.
Pessoa’s career has had numerous highlights, notably a silver medal at the 2012 Pan American Championships to go with several podiums on the World Cup and Grand Prix circuits. But his momentum was slowed by three major injuries in the two years leading up to London 2012. Just three months after surgery for bursitis in his right knee, he made his world championship debut in 2009. He defeated the defending world champion in his first bout before losing to the eventual silver medallist. He also re-injured his knee, requiring more surgery. After a solid 2010 season, he dislocated his hip during a training camp in December. Upon returning to competition in May 2011, he tore his left ACL in June and underwent surgery once again. He was able to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Team despite missing a large portion of the qualification period.
Pessoa has followed in the Olympic footsteps of his father, Sergio Pessoa Sr, who finished ninth in the same weight class as his son at Seoul 1988 for their native Brazil.