The Brazilian bobsled team will strengthen its preparation in the United States to qualify for the Winter Olympics to be played in Beijing from February 4 to 20 next year. A group of six athletes is at Lake Placid to complete preparations for the competitions that guarantee the ranking points.
The presence on the track in the United States is fundamental for Brazilians. Also because bobsled is a sport practiced on an ice rink, with a modern sledge descending at a speed of over 150 km/h. When they are in Brazil, athletes train the push, which is the beginning of the bobsled, on a dry trail that simulates the effort of a vehicle to accelerate. They use the So Caetano track.
Bobsleigh rose to fame in 1993 with a film called below zero jamaica. The story is based on real facts from when the Jamaican team went to participate in the Winter Games. Athletes from countries of harsh winters looked at him with an air of awe and superiority. This scene has already happened with Brazilians.
“I joined the national team in 2015. And there was something that was marked. In February 2016, we were in Austria and at breakfast time an English athlete joked when he looked at us and said: ‘Jamaica! ‘ Then we entered the competition and beat them. They now look at us with more respect, people understand that we are competitors. That was the change”, says Eric Viana, who went on to be one of the best in the country in bobsled Athletics left.
He recalls that the team has improved in recent years and that is why the group is already improving details, such as looking at the ice issue or studying the car’s blades. “The team is stronger and more organized. We are two-time Copa America champions, but we know the level is high. There are 28 vacancies for the Games and we are going after one of them.”
Olympic veteran – Eric has experience pilot Edson Bindilatti. At the age of 42, he was in all the Olympic editions in which Brazil guaranteed his appearance in the bobsled and tried to make his fifth participation. He is the one who drives the sled through the dangerous curves. Must have skill.
Due to the pandemic, the group stopped traveling and remained on training in Brazil, where there was no “winter” in 2021. “We just trained and we didn’t get a chance to compete this year. We couldn’t enter any countries. Obviously it had an effect, but we kept training. We did a lot of tests with the whole team and got our initials. reactivated the lane”, he says.
Olympic qualification is followed by world rankings and all disputes count. So the Brazilians will compete in the dreaded track in Whistler, Canada, which is considered the fastest in the world and famous for “breaking” athletes’ helmets. Later, they would compete in Park City and Lake Placid in the United States. The goal is to mathematically guarantee a place in these Copa America events.
In the modus operandi of the Confederation of Ice Sports of Brazil (CBDG), the bobsled is the one that has achieved the most Olympic classifications. In addition to Eric Viana and Edson Bindilatti, Rafael Souza, Jefferson Sabino (who competed at the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing for athletics) and Luis Henrique Bakka Gonsalves are part of the team. One of them will be cut off. There are four athletes and one reserve in the bobsled.
According to CBDG President Matthias Figueredo, Brazil has a good chance of securing a position in bobsled. “The federation was founded in 1996, but it was only in 2013 that we started projects for all eight Olympic Games on ice. We have 200 affiliated athletes and 800 athletes. In So Paulo, the Arena Ice Brasil became the training centre”, Matthias it is said.