Brazil Team athletes can now put their training clothes in their suitcases and get their passports ready, as the Mission Europe of the Brazilian Olympic Committee (BOC) begins next Friday, July 17th, with the boarding of the boxing, gymnastics, judo, artistic swimming and swimming teams. After receiving authorization from the Government of Portugal, through the intermediation of the local Olympic Committee, the BOC will send sports delegations to the European country, following a strict protocol regarding the combat to the contamination of the new coronavirus.
"Based on the great mobilization and commitment of all, we will offer this excellent opportunity to Brazilian athletes, who will have optimum training conditions and all the security to resume their preparation for the Tokyo Olympic Games," said BOC's President, Paulo Wanderley. "The BOC is very grateful for the fundamental support of the Olympic Committee of Portugal, through its president José Manuel Constantino, who spared no effort with the local authorities to make the entry of Brazil Team into the country possible at this time," said the president of the BOC.
The Portugal entry authorization offered to Brazil Team was based on the special conditions foreseen for Brazilians professionally working in the country.
“The legislation recently published in Portugal provides for special conditions regarding activities of a professional nature, which in our view applies to the Brazilian Olympic mission. Thus, we seek to find the best ways and raise awareness among national authorities, namely the Government, so that there are no problems regarding the arrival of the Brazilian athletes and the control of entry at the Lisbon airport”, said the president of the Olympic Committee of Portugal, José Manuel Constantino.
Mission Europe will happen from July to December and its main goal is to support the resumption of training for athletes classified or with potential for classification for the Tokyo Olympic Games, ensuring the total security of the delegation and complying with the protocols required and validated by the medical services. After consulting all the Brazilian Olympic Confederations, the BOC has so far planned to send around 200 athletes, in addition to technicians and a multidisciplinary team, from 16 sports (see the complete list by sport at the end of this text). This number can be updated, according to the needs of each confederation and possible changes in the external scenario of confronting the pandemic.
Strict protocols of control
To be able to carry out the operation, the BOC developed strict protocols of control regarding the contamination of Covid-19. All members of the delegation will be tested up to 72 hours before departure, only being able to travel if they have a negative result for the PCR. As soon as they arrive in Portugal, they will repeat the procedure and remain in isolation for 48 hours, until the results of the serology are released, and only then they will be cleared for the sports training. In addition to that, a third testing is scheduled before the return of each athlete or official to Brazil.
“Mission Europe is of great importance for the Brazilian Olympic sports. It is an action that represents the resumption of training after a very hard period for our athletes. During this time, the BOC, the Confederations and the clubs tried to provide all possible support and now our efforts are focused on offering the best conditions for the resumption of training, without giving up security and preserving health”, declared Jorge Bichara, director of the BOC’s Sports Center.
Portugal was chosen as the main destination for Brazil Team in Europe, given that the country is at an advanced stage of containing the new coronavirus pandemic, in addition to the good relationship of the BOC with the Olympic Committee of Portugal (OCP). The country will even serve as a base for acclimating the Brazilian team to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Four bases will be used for training: the Rio Maior Sports Complex, a public-private facility located 75km from Lisbon, which will receive most of the delegation, and facilities in Coimbra (judo), Cascais (sailing) and Sangalhos (artistic gymnastics and rhythmic gymnastics). With an estimated investment of R$13.7 million in logistics, Mission Europe is part of the Emergency Program to Support the Olympic System.
In parallel with Mission Europe, the BOC is working on the implementation of the plan to resume the activities of the Brazil Team Training Center, based on the protocols of the Guide for the Practice of Olympic Sports in the COVID-19 Scenario, released in June by the entity. The assembly of equipment and flow simulations started this week and the athletes are expected to return starting from the end of July, in five different phases, starting with a small group and gradually being normalized.
See the list of sport disciplines confirmed so far in Mission Europe:
Athletics - 29 athletes
Judo - 28 athletes
Boxing - 11 athletes
Swimming - 15 athletes
Women's Handball - 18 athletes
Men's Handball - 18 athletes
Women's Rugby - 16 athletes
Wrestling - 10 athletes
Rhythmic Gymnastics - 8 athletes
Diving - 7 athletes
Taekwondo - 6 athletes
Men's Artistic Gymnastics - 6 athletes
Triathlon - 4 athletes
Women's Artistic Gymnastics - 6 athletes
Sailing - 4 athletes
Artistic Swimming - 3 athletes
Marathon Swimming - 7 athletes
Table Tennis - 4 athletes