Day 79 – Olympic Torch Bulletin Board

News of the Rio 2016 Olympic Torch Relay across Brazil. An update on the day’s events


-          Current trainer of the Brazilian female national basketball team, Antônio Carlos Barbosa summoned the Brazilian crowd for the Rio 2016 Games upon carrying the Olympic flame in Americana. “We have the responsibility of rescuing Brazilian basketball at the Rio 2016 Games. We will manage to do that by raising the girls’ self-esteem, and for that, the crowd exercises a fundamental role”, he said.


-          Elected best Brazilian athlete in 2001, swimming athlete Danilo Glasser foresees a new era for Paralympic sport, after the Rio 2016 Games. “Brazil is very close to consolidating itself as a Paralympic potency.  I think that with the many medals that Rio 2016 will earn us, we’ll finally be a global reference in disabled-oriented sports”, he said.


-          Silver medalist at Atlanta 1996 and bronze medalist at Sydney 2000, Adriana Santos, coordinator of the female national basketball teams, will act as the “voice of experience” for the girls. “I’m heading for my fourth participation at Olympic Games. Brazil has a complicate way ahead, but I’ll do everything to help them out”, she said.


-          Fabiana Sugimori started to swim at three years old, for her mother was afraid she could drown, given that the family always went for walks nearby a river in Campinas. What was only a mother concern became a satisfaction. The athlete participated at four Paralympic Games events and broke the record of 50 metres freestyle at Beijing 2008. “For me, who was a Paralympic athlete, having this kind of acknowledgment is very important. It’s another sign that all the effort wasn’t in vain. I hope that the torch moves a lot of people that will see me in the streets and that they feel excited to support the athletes”, she commented


-          Odette Valentino Domingos was a discus throw athlete for 50 years. When she was a child, she used to play football with the boys from the farm she lived in, in Paulínia At 16 years old, the family moved to Campinas and she started to practice all kinds of sport. Only at 19 did she start to dedicate to discus throw. The then athlete and afterwards husband Argemiro Roque was her great encourager. “It’s pure joy, I hope to have transmitted a lot of peace for everybody”, she affirmed.


-          In love with adrenaline, alpinist Rodrigo Raineri has lived unique emotions in the sport, hiking mounts Aconcagua and Everest. “It’s a great struggle. Each expedition is different from the other and there’s no better feeling than overcoming nature’s obstacles. Hiking is one of the sports on demonstration at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. It’s a sport that demands a lot of strategy, physical and mental preparation”, he said.


-          One of the great names of tennis in Brazil, Ricardo Mello carried the Olympic torch in Campinas. “For being realized only every four years, the Olympic tournament is special for any tennis player. Particularly if we consider that a player’s career is short, not many have that chance”, said the tennis athlete, who bets on Djokovic, Federer and Murray in the fight for gold at the Rio 2016 Games.


-          Going towards his fourth Olympic participation, basketball athlete Kelly Santos talked about her expectations for the national team at Rio 2016 upon carrying the Olympic torch through the streets of Campinas. “I have a lot of faith and am giving everything I have. The Rio 2016 Games represent an unique opportunity not only for Brazilian basketball, but also to show our people the transforming power of sports”, she affirmed.


-          Biggest Brazilian Paralympic medalist, with 15 medals achieved on swimming, Daniel Dias highlighted the joy of the Paralympic Games. “To me, this symbol represents happiness. Many people think that Paralympic sports are about overcoming, but that is normal in any sport. The difference of adaptive sports is the joy”, said the swimmer, who took the opportunity to make an invitation to the Brazilian crowd at Rio 2016. “Be there because you won’t regret it. There are no poor things there, it’s for real”.


-          Maria Helena Cardoso played basketball for 20 years, and for 30, she acted as coach. She was the commandant of the female national basketball team at Barcelona, becoming the first woman to run the team. “I had to overcome the prejudice and challenges with competence and a lot of work in the pit, showing results. I was very happy to having been acknowledged for all the contribution I made for Brazilian basketball”, she said.


-          Maria Angélica Gonçalves da Silva, known as ‘Branca’, was part of the national basketball team and won silver at the 1996 Atlanta Games. After 20 years on basketball, she athlete became a trainer. “When I knew I was going to carry the Olympic torch and that I would receive the Olympic flame from my great inspiration, Maria Helena, I was even happier. That this flame may give me more strength to carry on as a trainer”, she said.


-          Maurício is an Olympic volleyball bi-champion, world champion, five teams champion of the World League, champion of the World Cup and has been elected the best setter in the world three times. “Volleyball found its way to captivate the Brazilian audience with good results throughout all those years. The crowd represents pressure and help, so the players need to know how to deal with that very well to achieve the goal”, he said.


-          André Heller competed at three Olympic Games events and achieved a gold medal at Athens 2004 and silver at Beijing 2008. He was six times champion of the World League of volleyball. Nowadays he is technical coordinator of a team in Campinas. “Sports transformed my life; it was through it that I managed to obtain everything, my wife, many awards and joys. Today, this flame came as a privilege and a responsibility, since it represented every person that helped me in life and in sports”, he said.


-          Conceição Geremias has super curriculum at heptathlon contests. She represented Brazil at three Olympic Games: Moscow 1980, Los Angeles 1984 and Seoul 1988. To this day she competes in the master category and has achieved 10 world titles. Today, to carry the Olympic torch, she painted her nails to the torch’s colors and used earrings with a Brazilian flag. “When I knew the relay was going to pass through Campinas, I was already anxious with the possibility that they’d call me and fortunately they did remember me. It was exactly the award that was lacking for me to finish my career with much pride”, she said.


-          Mariléia dos Santos received the nickname ‘Michael Jackson’ from the commenter Luciano do Valle, in the 1980’s. She was part of the female football team for 12 years and participated at two World Cups and the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. “Today, I’m professor Vadão’s assistant and the girls are very well prepared and motivated for the Rio 2016 Games. I hope we achieve the gold medal we dream of. Being torchbearer is quite an emotion, it’s a dream. It’s a moment I’ll carry for the rest of my life”, she said.


Today (20), the Olympic flame was carried by 163 people at the four cities visited by the retinue, which travelled a total of 380 kilometres. Tomorrow, the torch relay goes to the cities of Indaiatuba, Itu, Jundiaí and Osasco.


-          Before arriving at Osasco, the Rio 2016 Olympic Torch Relay stopped at Claro, Limeira and Americana.


-          Six Olympic taekwondo athletes met in Rio Claro to carry the Olympic torch. Marcel and Márcio Wenceslau, Carmen Pigozzi, Carlos Negrão, Débora Nunes and Diogo Silva made part of the group. “ It’s an opportunity to gather Olympic athletes from different generations in a single Olympic Games event”, said Diogo, who represented Brazil at London 2012.


-          Two shooting sport pros carried the Olympic torch. Felipe Fuzaro, current Brazilian double trap recordist, and Leonardo de Almeida talked about the sport which will give the first Olympic medal at the Rio 2016 Games. “A lot of people have some prejudice towards shooting sport, but it’s a very interesting modality”, said Leonardo.


-          At Parque da Cidade (park), in Limeira, flash mob, free style choreography and rhythmic gymnastics performances, from Olympic Space gym, cheered up the public. After the flame’s arrival there was a performance by the Banda Marcial dos Patrulheiros (marching band).


-          Odair dos Santos is heading for the most important competition in his life, his fourth participation at Paralympic Games, and this time at home. Before embarking to Colombia, where he will have the last stage of preparation, he carries the Olympic torch in Limeira. “I stayed in Limeira for another day to carry the Olympic torch and it will give more enthusiasm at the altitude trainings prior to the Paralympic Games. I’m quite happy and will take this feeling for the day of the competitions to give more happiness to the Brazilians”, he affirmed.


-          Beatriz Zuzi Rodrigues as a Paralympic swimming athlete since 14 years old, when she started to train more seriously and win competitions as a professional. Born in Limeira, she never left the city and always represented her fellow citizens at the competitions. “Today is a very special day, because even though I didn’t achieve the rating for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, the torch came to bring me happiness and strength to try again in 2020. I won’t give up”, she said.


-          Alexandra Nascimento will represent Brazil at the Rio 2016 Games and today she stopped her training routine to carry the Olympic flame. She left from Limeira, still as a teenager, to play handball and evolve in the sport. “My city is beautiful and I miss it, but I left for a good cause, representing everyone who is from here throughout the world. We are very confident in a medal and I want it to be gold. We are doing the impossible and working hard for that. Carrying the torch got me more nervous than at a final match”, she said.


-          Guilherme Guido didn’t achieve the rating to compete at the 2008 Beijing Games, mas he celebrates the fact he will be participating at the Olympic Games at our country.  “I’m too happy for being in my city and being able, for the first time, to carry the Olympic flame. I’m polishing up for the competition only a few days away and we will have a team of swimming athletes with high chances of winning medals”, he said.


-          With three Olympic participations in her curriculum, basketball player Karla Costa carried the Olympic flame in Americana. “I think everyone should participate at Olympic Games at least once. It’s a transforming experience. My three participations marked my career. In the first occasion, I was very young and was stunned. The second time, I managed to focus more so that in the third, I brought my game about”, she said.


-          Considered one of the best shooting sport athletes of all tome, Athos Pisoni said he considers the passing of the Olympic flame through Americana to be his third participation at Olympic Games, since he competed at Montreal 1976 and led the team at Atlanta 1996. “Since January I’ve been doing walks to prepare myself for this moment. It really is as if I was training for an Olympic competition”, he said.


-          Even after passing through teams such as Real Madrid, La Coruña and Palmeiras, Flávio Conceição still dreams about the gold lost at Atlanta 1996. “That defeat to Nigeria, which got us out of the final, marked out football. I advise the players to focus and enter the game with a lot of will. I have faith that the Olympic gold will be ours this year”, he said.

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