Wednesday, 20 July 2016
Brazil’s Olympic team will train and sleep at locations far from the Olympic village, including at an army base, in part to keep away from the eyes of “spies,” officials said Tuesday.
The host country has fielded its largest-ever team for the Rio de Janeiro Games, which open on August 5. It is gunning for at least 10th place in the overall medal table, a giant leap from London 2012, when it came in 16th.
To get there, the Brazilian Olympic Committee has named a team of 465 athletes, dwarfing its previous largest team — 277 participants at the Beijing Games in 2008.
Most of them will hunker down at the physical education center of Sao Joao Fort, a sprawling army base with lush tropical vegetation and stunning views of Rio’s iconic bay.
That location, in Rio’s posh Urca district, will put them closer to their venues than competitors in the Olympic village, on the western side of the city. Their coaches also hope it will put them in a golden mindset.
“Exclusivity is the key word here. They train when they want, they eat on schedule, they only meet other Brazilians,” said Marcus Vinicius Freire, sports director at the Brazilian Olympic Committee.
“That’s the big difference of staying in Urca, one of the prettiest places in Rio de Janeiro… without any spies.”
The wrestling, taekwondo, beach volleyball, boxing, handball and archery teams will stay at the fort. Other teams will stay at different bases around the city.
The exceptions are beach volleyball stars Bruno Schmidt and Alison Cerutti, who wanted to stay at the Olympic village to soak up its special “energy,” said Freire.
Source by: AFP