The goal of the Brazilian Olympic Committee (BOC) for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games was clear: to evolve relative to the last participation. And this was confirmed in various aspects: in debuts, in the number of events and starts, and in the final performance in several modalities. The last great result came precisely in the last event. The bobsled foursome was among the 20 best of the world and managed, after participation in five Olympic Games, to dispute the final this Sunday, 20, the day of the Closing Ceremony. The structure offered to the athletes and their commitment in all disputes were also reasons for praise by the BOC.
"I was in China and could see the organization level of the Brazilian Mission led by mission chief Anders Pettersson and the BOC collaborators. I could also see the talent and commitment of 11 athletes of the delegation to take the Brazilian flag to the Winter Olympic Games as well. I don't want to be unfair with anyone's work, but I have to highlight the cross-country skiing athlete Jaqueline Mourão, with her participation in eight editions of Winter and Summer Olympic Games. As an Olympic champion, I can only applaud this incredible and versatile athlete. My congratulations to all Brazilian athletes who honored the Brazilian participation in Winter Games initiated in Albertville 1992", said Rogério Sampaio, the BOC director-general.
In the number of events, we far surpassed Pyeongchang 2018: there were 12 now against 07 in Korea. Despite the lower number of athletes, we only disputed one event less than Sochi 2014. In the number of starts, there were 14 – we had two athletes in the same two cross-country skiing events, a record. There were 7 in Pyeongchang and 13 in Sochi. It is important to stress that half of these 14 starts were of women, something unprecedented.
Other important points to underscore in this Winter Games campaign were the debut in the skeleton modality and that we had Brazilian representatives in the skiathlon and team sprint events of cross-country skiing and the moguls event of freestyle skiing for the first time. Manex, who disputed the skiathlon, became the first Brazilian to participate in four events in the same edition of Winter Olympic Games. With particular emphasis on his participation in the Sprint, in which he was the best-ranking South-American of the event and, with 171,68 FIS points, he broke the Brazilian point record in the modality in Olympic Games (surpassing Jaqueline Mourão in 2010 in the Distance event).
Still in terms of performance, other debuting athletes shined. Ranking 26th, Sabrina Cass became the best South-American in history in the moguls event in Olympic Games. Nicole Silveira went even further. Ranked 13th, she is now the best Latin-American in the history of skeleton in Olympic Games. In terms of the final ranking, this was also the second-best performance of Brazil in Winter Games (losing only to the 9th place of Isabel Clark in the snowboard cross event in Turim 2006) and the best of Brazilian history in ice sports.
"We leave here with the sense of duty fulfilled. Really, it is an investment for the future. The athletes younger than 20 years old have still not reached their peak and will be even better in Milan-Cortina 2026. Making a high-level athlete is an ant's work, and I believe that the BOC and the Ice and Snow Confederations are investing the right way in the athletes that deserve it", analyzed Anders Pettersson, chief of the Beijing 2022 Mission.
But it wasn't just the newcomers who shined. Jaqueline Mourão drew the world's attention upon becoming the most Olympic athlete of Brazilian history with participation in 8 Olympic Games, surpassing names such as Formiga, Robert Scheidt, and Rodrigo Pessoa. She was in Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, and Tokyo 2020 in cycling mountain bike, and in Turim 2006, Vancouver 2010, Sochi 2014 (when she also disputed the biathlon), Pyeongchang 2018, and Beijing 2020 in cross-country skiing.
"The structure offered to the athletes and the services the Chinese placed at the disposal of those involved in the Games were of a very high level. And this brought many positive results for Brazil. We may say the Beijing 2022 campaign was historic for various reasons. So, I, as the Mission Head, could not be more satisfied", completed Pettersson.
An extremely important point is that there was considerable renovation in this delegation. There were four athletes aged 23 years or less, the limit age to dispute the Junior Pan American Games, for example, Eduarda Ribera, 17 years old, Sabrina Cass and Manex Silva, 19 years old, and Michel Macedo, 23 years old. There was also Michel's alternate, Valentino Caputi, 17 years old.
It is also worth highlighting that Brazil was, indeed, represented in the Games. Athletes from the Northeast, North, Southeast, and South Regions competed in Beijing 2022. Manex Silva was born in Rio Branco, Acre; Michel Macedo, in Fortaleza, Ceará; Edson Bindilatti, in Camamu, Bahia; Nicole Silveira, in Rio Grande, Rio Grande do Sul; and the 6 other athletes were born in cities in the Southeast Region. Only Sabrina Cass was born outside the country, in New Haven, USA.
Relative to COVID-19, two athletes, Erick Vianna (bobsled) and Michel Macedo (alpine skiing), who tested positive upon arrival, fulfilled all protocols, which required significant effort from the entire team to organize individual transport, lodging, and food for each one of them, managed to leave isolation and compete. But more importantly than this, they are coming back home healthy.
"The safety against COVID-19 within the bubble was substantial. And, for this reason, we managed to fulfill the two goals of the medical area. One is to make the athlete healthy, fit to compete. Even with the mishaps, both Erick and Michel disputed events in Beijing. But also, to guarantee that they will go back to their countries with health, with no symptoms, and all members are returning this way. Hence, the Mission successfully fulfilled these two aspects", said Felipe Hardt, the chief physician of the Beijing 2022 Mission.
Beijing 2022 was the ninth Brazilian participation in Winter Games, initiated in Albertville 1992. Counting with this edition, Brazil had 40 different athletes in Winter Olympic Games, with 13 being women, in nine modalities: biathlon, bobsled, alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, freestyle skiing, luge, figure skating, skeleton, and snowboard.