February 5, 2009

All Is Well That Ends Well in Brazil

Today we have two Brazilian updates for you, one regarding the goings-on in Rio de Janeiro, and another one regarding the injuries of some of the country's top gymnasts. Let's start with the latest developments in Rio de Janeiro...

As some of you may have learned from other sources, the financial crisis at the Flamengo sports club, which threatened to leave Diego and Daniele Hypólito and Jade Barbosa without a place to work out, was averted at the last minute. According to this January 26 UOL Esporte article, Flamengo's elite gymnastics program will continue to exist, thanks to the generosity of the city of Niterói, a Rio de Janeiro suburb. Reportedly the Niterói authorities will inject R$80,000 (nearly US$35,000) per month into Flamengo's gymnastics program. In exchange, the Hypólitos and Barbosa will take part in the city's projects to stimulate local kids to get involved in the sport. Now that's what we call an excellent deal...

Happy again: Diego Hypolito (photo: Lydia Gismondi/Globoesporte)

That is not all, though.

According to this February 3 Globoesporte article, the Brazilian Gymnastics Federation may get a new training center in Rio de Janeiro. As those of you who have been following our Brazilian news for a while are aware, the old center in Curitiba (the seat of the Brazilian Gymnastics Federation) was closed last year after a coaching scandal. Now the Brazilian Olympic Committee and Rio de Janeiro State University are in talks to open a new training center on the university campus. If the plans go through, the center will be equipped with the apparatus used at the 2007 Pan-American Games, which is currently in a storage facility owned by the Brazilian Olympic Committee. The establishment of the new training center is a response to the recent crisis at Flamengo, and part of Rio de Janeiro's campaign to raise its profile to further its bid for the 2016 Olympics. Presumably, the facility will be used for pre-meet training camps rather than on a permanent basis. Either way, one more fully equipped training center in Rio won't hurt...

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