The Brazilian Olympic Committee (BOC) will send a delegation of about 200 athletes, divided into groups from July to December, for training in Europe. The announcement was made to the Olympic Confederations in a meeting this Monday (June 1st). The action is part of the Emergency Program to Support the Olympic System, which had its first actions presented on May 18th, the milestone of two months of the social isolation caused by the fighting of the pandemic of the new coronavirus. Portugal is the first country confirmed, and was chosen because it is in an advanced stage in the confrontation of the Covid-19 and due to the existing relationship with the Olympic Committee of that country, which had already been chosen as the main acclimatization base of Brazil Team for the Olympic Games of Paris in 2024.
"The BOC understands the unique moment that the whole world is going through, with a direct impact on all segments of society, including Sports. In this sense, we fulfill our role of keeping the Olympic System healthy and of offering our athletes the best training and performance conditions, with maximum security", says the entity's president, Paulo Wanderley Teixeira.
The mission, which should include athletes and officials from different disciplines, is in the final stage of planning. The BOC will pay for the ticket, accommodation and meals for the delegation over six months. The investment will be covered by the R$15 million foreseen in the 2020 entity's budget within the Olympic Preparation Program originating from the Lottery Law. The choice for Portugal, the first country already confirmed to receive Brazil Team, respected the health security conditions, the training protocol and the isolation measures imposed by the local authorities.
"We have a close relationship with the Portuguese Olympic Committee and we have already started negotiations for the Mission Paris 2024. With the pandemic, we believe that using Portuguese sports facilities will allow us to offer athletes safe and high-level sites to resume their activities", explains BOC general director and Olympic judo champion, Rogério Sampaio.
"For the BOC it is worrying to see our athletes without training conditions due to the real need to maintain isolation to control the pandemic in the country. We know how important it is to win the battle against the coronavirus, at the same time that we work for the Brazil Team to be on an equal footing with its main opponents", says the head of mission at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and vice president of BOC, Marco Antônio La Porta Jr.
In parallel with the Portugal Mission, the BOC is finalizing its protocol for resuming training. It is a document of about 200 pages, created in the recent weeks in partnership with specialists and doctors from the Olympic Confederations. This manual will dictate the rules for the use and gradual opening of the Brazil Team Training Center, in Rio de Janeiro, in line with the guidelines of governmental health agencies.
"We seek references from several Olympic committees in the world, which are already in advanced stages in relation to Brazil in combating the pandemic. Our goal is to have a complete reference guide for athletes and institutions," says BOC sports director, Jorge Bichara. "In short, the idea is that the athlete stays as little as possible in the facility and with the least possible contact with other people", he adds.
The Portugal Mission continues the set of the first 15 measures developed by the BOC since March, and presented on May 18th, to support the Olympic System in times of pandemic. A contribution of R$ 7 million is also planned, to be used in actions to combat the pandemic (purchase of tests and PPE equipment, for example), and in sports and administrative projects (such as payment of suppliers, taxes, rents, etc.), considering the financial impact on the entities' revenue at the moment. The distribution will be egalitarian among all Olympic Confederations.
Furthermore, in the Emergency Program to Support the Olympic System, the allocation of R$ 10 million to projects related to the sports development area with the Confederations was confirmed.