“We are very excited that slowly our plans (and dreams) are coming true,”
Brazilian cross-country skiers are continuing their fast development with two years to go until the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.
In 2015 Paralympic.org reported how the Brazilian Snow Sports Federation and Brazilian Paralympic Committee had been using support received from the development arm of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the Agitos Foundation, to find and train athletes.
With the lack of snow in the country, the first activities those identified took part in were workshops and there was also a chance to try and train on roller skis.
Five of those discovered have recently been in action again, competing in the first Rollerski Circuit in Sao Paulo from visually impaired, sitting and standing classifications.
The competition was held at the world famous Interlagos circuit, the same that is used for the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix.
Skiers then got their first taste of snow at an indoor centre in Gramado where they were joined by aspiring athletes from Colombia and Chile. Part of the Agitos Foundation support is also going towards developing cross-country and biathlon in Latin America more generally.
Participants had the chance to train with Olympic cross-country skier Leandro Ribela, who was reportedly impressed with their transition from roller-skis to snow.
“We are very excited that slowly our plans (and dreams) are coming true,” Stefano Arnold, President of the Brazilian Snow Sports Federation said.
“We want to thank you and our good friends at the IPC and Agitos Foundation once again for your always kind support and of course to our NPC [Brazilian Paralympic Committee] where Mr Parsons and Mr Alves da Rocha have been of tremendous help and support.
“I would also like to thank our staff that under the leadership of our CEO, Pedro Cavazzoni, and of our Olympic cross-country athlete and coach Leandro Ribela, with the help of Caio Freixeda and Felippe Rodrigues, are doing a great job to develop our cross-country and biathlon programmes.”