quarta-feira, março 04, 2009

COB honors Brazilian Olympic athletes

COB honors Brazilian Olympic athletes
A gala evening of Brazilian sport celebrates the victories of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and rallies support for the Rio 2016 bid

A grand celebration of Brazilian sport is approaching and promises emotion-packed moments. The 10th edition of the Brazilian Olympic Awards will occur on Tuesday, 16 December, at the Modern Art Museum (MAM) Theater.

The event takes place in a climate of great anticipation and hope that Rio de Janeiro will be chosen to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Considered the Oscars of Brazilian sport, the awards are the recognition of the integrity and commitment of Brazilian athletes. A panel consisting of public figures, managers and journalists from the world of sport voted to select the best athletes in each of the 43 sports events to be awarded.

The same panel nominated three men and women athletes to compete for the Athlete of the Year award, which will be determined by internet vote. César Cielo (swimming), Diego Hypólito (gymnastics) and Robert Scheidt (sailing) are competing for the men’s award. Ketleyn Quadros (judo), Natalia Falavigna (taekwondo) and Maurren Maggi (athletics) are disputing the women’s prize.

Another highlight of the evening will be COB’s and the Brazilian Paralympic Committee’s tribute to the Olympic coaches. Having previously awarded only one overall coaching prize, this year three awards will be presented for Best Coach. Nélio Moura will take home the prize in individual sports, José Roberto Guimarães for team sports, and Amaury Veríssimo for best Paralympic coach. Luiz Shinohara, the men’s judo team coach, won in 2007.

“I am extremely honored to represent individual event coaches in this first year that the award is granted. Coaches of team sports generally have a much higher profile than ours. This COB initiative can help promote the work of coaches in individual sports,” said Moura, who trained gold medalist Maurren Maggi.

In recent years, Paralympic sports have been given a great deal of encouragement in Brazil and this has produced excellent results, such as those achieved in the Beijing Olympic Games. The Brazilian Olympic Awards will also pay tribute to the best Paralympic athletes of the year in the men and women’s categories. The stars of the 12 to 14 year old School Olympics, the 15 to 17 year old School Olympics, and the University Olympics will also be honored at the event.

This year, João Havelange, one of the major personalities in the history of international Olympic sport, will receive the Adhemar Ferreira da Silva Trophy. He took part in two Olympic Games in two different events (swimming and water polo) and led the International Football Federation (FIFA) for 24 years. "It is a great honor to be recognized by the Brazilian Olympic Movement. As an athlete and an administrator, I have lived through countless experiences and emotions but this tribute by the Brazilian Olympic Committee is of great importance to me because I am being honored in my country," said Havelange.
Natalia Falavigna
Diego Hypólito
FONTE (foto incluída): Bid Rio 2016
Foto: Hugo Oyama

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