“Our main goal is to improve the results from Sochi in terms of performance and number of athletes.”
As part of Brazil’s Para Nordic skiing development programme, a Para roller-ski competition was held in the city of Sao Carlos on 15 October with six Brazilian male skiers taking part in the sitting and standing categories.
Fernando Aranha (11:53.3) was the fastest in the men’s sitting, followed by Cristian Ribera (13:39.6), Everaldo Arando (18:13.8) and Altair Marangne (23:53.3). In the men’s standing, Thomaz De Moraes clocked 11:51.60 and Gustavo Silva 13:23.10.
The course, located in the ‘Parque Eco-Esportivo Damha’, had a length of 4km.
"Since 2012, we have been trying to recruit more athletes to the sport and have been developing a programme to prepare young athletes with potential for the future," said Leandro Ribela, who coordinates the Olympic and Paralympic cross-country skiing programmes in Brazil.
"We want to train more coaches to work with Paralympic winter sports in Brazil. We have very good coaches for the summer sports, so I believe we can use their expertise to train Para Nordic skiing coaches.”
Brazil made their first appearance at the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, in 2014, through snowboarder Andre Cintra and Nordic skier Aranha.
“In the short term, we seek to have three athletes qualified for PyeongChang 2018. For those Paralympic Winter Games, our main goal is to improve the results from Sochi in terms of performance and number of athletes,” added Ribela.
“But our main goals are for Beijing 2022 and the 2026 Games, where we aim to have an athlete amongst the top 10 in one of the events and, maybe, win a medal. We have some good young athletes with potential for the future, so why would not we dream high.”