Athletes Use Military Facilities to Train for World Cup and Olympics

first_img São João Fort, the location where the city of Rio de Janeiro was founded in 1565, was also the place where physical education took shape in the country. For example, Lieutenant Guilherme Paraense won the first Olympic medal for Brazil in the Antwerp games of 1920, after having trained at the Army Physical Training Center (CCFEX). The Brazilian soccer team who won the 1970 World Cup in Mexico also trained there. Nowadays, the Brazilian Army wants to turn the CCFEX into a center of excellence that will also provide support to the Brazilian Olympic Committee (BOC) in preparation for the 2016 Olympic Games. Major General Décio dos Santos Brasil, president of the Army Sports Committee, was assigned to assist with the task and welcomed a visit from Diálogo for the following interview. Diálogo: Brazil had a successful performance in the V Military World Games. What lessons-learned do you expect to apply to the upcoming events that the country will host? Major General Décio dos Santos Brasil: In fact, the V Military World Games were a milestone for military sports around the world. We were too focused on the internal preparation, especially on our professional audience. Everything was the result of research work performed by other countries which used their high performance athletes to represent the country, and who were also military members of the Armed Forces. This way, there was an effort made to bring awareness and to show how important it was to project the country in the international scenario. Therefore we adopted this new system to handle the high performance athletes, who would also take advantage of our monitoring system, healthcare facilities, and sports infrastructure, which at times were not being used because we were not able to keep our teams constantly focused. With this high performance athlete program, we were able to allow them to train in their original bases, as military members, in their original states, their original clubs. Periodically they would come to the CCFEX for refresher training, and to participate in military competitions as they are also in better shape, which is a result of this effort, anticipating the upcoming World Cup and the Olympic Games. This program worked very well for the 2011 Military World Games. Diálogo: Indeed, it worked so well that Brazil ranked first place in the V Military World Games. What do you expect at the upcoming competitions? Major General Brasil: Our preparation for the 2011 Military World Games was very specific, very focused. We wanted to prove to the country that our military sports can compete on equal terms with others. We were surprised by the first place win. We anticipated a third place. There was great dedication from the three forces to train their teams. The results paid off. Perhaps it will be difficult to replicate, because we are aware that South Korea, who will host the next games, built a high level military training center as well. Therefore, our first objective is to perform well in Korea 2015. Then of course, our high performance athlete training program will contribute for good results in the 2016 Olympic Games. Diálogo: Major General Brasil, what happened to the high performance athletes who entered the Armed Forces with the purpose of participating the 2011 Military World Games? Were they dismissed once the games were over? Were they invited to remain as members of the military service? Major General Brasil: The military service law is evergreen. It does not change nor adjust to meet specific situations. It is a set law for all segments, from the soldier who joins the service annually and leaves, to those temporary members who serve for a limited time, such as soldiers, corporals, sergeant majors, and officers. The contract is renewed annually and they may remain in service for up to eight years because if they go beyond the eighth year, in addition to the prior public service job, the accrual may surpass the ten-year limit, which would constitute full-time employment. Therefore, the military law allows for the military members of certain areas of interest to remain in the service for up to eight years. The same law applies to the high performance athletes who are in the Armed Forces, although this law is specific for each service. Currently, we have almost 130 high performance athletes, hired as reserve technical sergeants. They may renew their contract annually, if we have interest in them; they are volunteers and it should be in the force’s interest to renew their service each year, for up to eight years. In other words, those who were admitted in 2009 will reach their eighth year of service in 2017, covering the Military World Games in Korea and the Olympic Games in Brazil. They may remain enlisted and participate in both events. These athletes are constantly in training and maintenance and once in a while will come here to be updated on military matters, because they all went through military training to be part of the service: they learned physical education, how to march, to salute, to shoot, and all activities in the instruction program that soldiers joining the mandatory military service must go through. At times, they come here to our center, under the coordination of the Army Sports Committee, get updated, and acquire new knowledge on military legislation, then return to their workplaces, to train in their modalities. Diálogo: What is the attitude regarding the use of military facilities for future competitions in Brazil? Major General Brasil: We can serve as a support and training center for the World Cup. The same applies for the Confederations Cup this year. Our facility is well regarded, not only because of the location, but also for the technical and operational conditions that we offer: the field, the locker rooms and, if needed, the nutrition, as we have proper facilities for it. We also have all the equipment necessary for weightlifting and physical therapy … Even the BOC wants to install a clinical analysis lab to evaluate the physiological evolution of national athletes, and some modalities would come here to the CCFEX for training. By Dialogo March 20, 2013last_img

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