The long, difficult, and expensive process of becoming a United States citizen has finally concluded for BJJ legend Hannette Staack.
Staack, a three-time ADCC champion and five-time IBJJF World Champion, announced the other day that she became a naturalized citizen in Chicago, saying that she was the only Brazilian earning the honor in the room that day. Staack shared an emotional message with her followers to commemorate the special moment and acknowledging the role that jiu-jitsu had played in her life to bring her to this point:
“It took a moment for me to realize how much I’ve accomplished in this journey since I decided to move to the United Stated… This is a dream coming true for me… I still remember the days when I put on my mom’s clothes and will be pretending I was someone important and speaking English (or something like this🤣). Here I am today. I thank God for everything I have today and Jiu-Jitsu for being the way to it… Jiu-Jitsu made all my dreams possible and I am beyond grateful for believing in this dream and committing to it. 2020 is starting in the best way possible… The first Naturalization Ceremony of the year and of the decade in Chicago, and I was the only Brazilian in the room. Very special… In the pictures the most important times for me since I came to this country! We have the responsibility to be the best as we can and to make a difference in our community. 🙏🏾❤️💙”
Staack joins the growing number of highly accomplished BJJ athletes who have recently earned their US citizenship. Gui Mendes and Augusto “Tanquinho” Mendes both became United States citizens in the latter half of 2019.