GCSCI Welcomes International Runners

In conjunction with next week’s GCSCI annual meeting, Columbus will also be welcoming 6 marathon runners from our sister cities of Hefei, China and Curitiba, Brazil. These international athletes will be participating in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon on October 16. The runners range from university students to business owners. All of them are not only excited for the marathon, but also look forward to experiencing life in Columbus and establishing new connections. The runners will be staying with local host families, which will give them the opportunity to immerse themselves in local culture. Below are introductions to all of our international athletes.

Ivete Maristela Mollossi Kujew


Ivete is a teacher in Curitiba, Brazil. She teaches at a public school for children ages 10 to 18. This will be Ivete’s first time in the United States. She is dedicated to completing the half marathon, but also hopes to improve her English and get to know Columbus.

Ivete has travelled throughout much of South America, including Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Patagonia. She has also visited Canada. Ivete is very health-conscious; she enjoys eating natural food and exercising. She is married, has two children, and a cute dog.

Luis Mollossi


     Luis is a lawyer in Curitiba, Brazil. He is a leader of Brazil’s Southern Italian Immigrant Community and works to defend civil rights and promote Italian culture. Mr. Mollossi also has a seat on the Italian Parliament in South America. He works to write and publish monthly articles on both political and civil rights. If possible, Luis hopes to meet with local Italians in Columbus in order to exchange experiences and learn about their life in America. Luis has traveled to almost every continent, except Asia, on vacation or for business. Mollossi is looking forward to meeting new people and improving his health through participating in the marathon. He is excited that the sport of running is uniting people from all over the world in Columbus.

Paulo Figura Jr. 


      Paulo lives in Curitiba, Brazil where he works in environmental conservation. His organization recycles half of the solid waste in Curitiba, where it is then separated and sold to other industries. Paulo also attends a federal university where he specializes in Occupational Safety Engineering. If possible, Paulo is hoping to visit a solid waste treatment plant and understand how Columbus manages its recyclable material. Paulo is excited to run a successful marathon, meet new people in Columbus, and work on improving his English. He hopes to visit popular locations in Columbus, but would also like to visit more local places that aren’t specifically for tourists. Paulo and his family enjoy traveling; he’s visited the Dominican Republic, Cancun, Argentina, Venezuela, and New York City. 

Hewei Liang and Shi Jing











      Hewei Liang and Shi Jing are a married couple that live and work in Hefei, China. Hewei and Shi have their own company, Beata International that specializes in exporting bags to European, U.S., South American, Japanese, Australian, and South African markets. Shi and Hewei are excited to get to know new people and experience Columbus food and activities. They especially would like to visit local attractions such as churches, museums, libraries, and theatres. The couple will be running in the marathon alongside of one another. This will be Shi’s first half marathon. Both hope to meet local businesses that are interested in purchasing his handbags. Hewei has run a marathon in Hong Kong and the couple recently traveled to Japan together.

Yayu Lui


    Yayu is a teacher at Hefei University where she studies and teaches Japanese. Yayu is excited to visit The Ohio State University and local museums while in Columbus. She has heard much about OSU and is looking forward to seeing the campus. Yayu is hoping to meet with local fitness organizations in Columbus. She notes that running and fitness is gaining popularity in China and she hopes to share what she learns in Columbus back home in Hefei. In her free time Yayu enjoys travelling, as she has travelled to most regions of China. She has also visited Japan, South Korea, Russia and Thailand. She is very excited to create new memories here in Columbus and is excited to experience the American way of life with her host, Agnes Igodan. Last year Yayu seized the opportunity to host a Columbus runner in her home in China, and she is hoping to have a similarly positive experience in Columbus.
















Author: Columbus Sister Cities

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