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  • Brazil Planning a Repeat of Rio at Tokyo 2020


    (ATR) The Brazil Olympic Committee wants to make sure to build on the momentum from Rio 2016 at Tokyo 2020.
    Paulo Wanderley (COB)
    “We are aware that the Tokyo Games pose huge challenges considering the distance and the difference in time zones,” Brazilian Olympic Committee President Paulo Wanderley tells Around the Rings.

    “This is why COB is working well in advance, and Brazil was one of the first nations to establish its bases in Japan,” Wanderley added.

    The Olympic leader revealed that Brazil will have eight exclusive bases in several regions of Japan. That will help the Brazilian delegation adjust to the changes in climate, time zone and local cuisine. 

    “At these bases COB will have in place a full structure to meet the needs of Team Brasil athletes. For 2019 we are already planning to send more than 10 teams to Japan to train and compete,” commented Wanderley.

    Wanted: Places on the Podium

    Brazilians celebrate winning gold medal in men's volleyball in Rio (Getty Images)
    Brazil ranked 13th on the medals table for Rio 2016. Despite taking home seven gold, six silver and six bronze medals for its best result ever, it still fell short of its goal of a top 10 finish.  

    But Wanderley said that's not the whole story: in terms of results, Brazil ranked among the best in the world at 15 different championships or high level competitions in 2018. 

    “The survey just accounts for the Olympic competitions.” he said.

    “It is based on this type of monitoring that COB designs the investment strategies focusing on the improvement and the development of each sport, discipline or athlete.

    “This year we will have a more accurate snapshot of the current status of Brazilian sport vis-à-vis the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Good performance at 2019 World Championships is of the utmost importance as the qualifications for the Tokyo Games will give us an excellent evaluation tool,” expressed the Olympic official.

    Brazil will send nearly 500 athletes to Lima, with the goal of securing the largest possible number of places for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

    “This is COB’s main goal for the Pan American Games,” he affirmed.

    COB Dealing with Financial Constraints

    Wanderley assumed the COB presidency in October 2017, after the resignation of Carlos Arthur Nuzman.

    There are those who consider that the COB is experiencing an unprecedented crisis, with several confederations prevented from receiving public resources.

    Faced with this consideration, Wanderley replied that since the new board took office, COB as been restructuring expenses to adjust it to the current Brazilian scenario “relying on the basic pillars of Austerity, Meritocracy and Transparency”.

    "We intend to have all the National Olympic Confederations follow this example. To this end, in 2017 COB launched the corporate development program named GET (Management, Ethics and Transparency),” he said.

    “The objective of the GET is to further develop the management standards of the confederations by focusing on ethics and transparency.

    “With this initiative we intend to meet the expectations of society as a whole and of our strategic partners that are increasingly attentive to and interested in governance practices and, especially, in the investment practices.” 

    Asked if the current financial situation of the COB could affect the results at Lima 2019, Wanderley responded: 

    “Since the early days of our management, we have been committed to the best governance practices. Measures have been implemented that have directly impacted and contributed to the good governance we are aiming at. The ultimate objective of all our actions is to meet the needs of Brazilian sport and of our athletes.”

    Jair Bolsonaro began serving as Brazil's president on January 1 (Wikipedia)
    Regarding the help of the Jair Bolsonaro government to National Olympic sport, Wanderley said that COB has been keeping an institutional dialogue with government sport authorities.

    “We are fully confident that the new administration is paying attention to sport demands and aware of the significance of sport for a healthier society, with positive values," he said.

    Wanderley believes that the newly-installed management has been acting to make COB “more receptive, transparent and accessible”.

    According to Wanderley, COB is talking to several potential sponsors and is optimistic about new partnerships. Just a few days ago COB announced the partnership with the Japanese multinational Ajinomoto and the new Time Brasil card that will become a new source of alternative income.

    Additional partnerships will be announced soon.

    Wanderley said the inaugural Brazilian Olympic Congress, held on April 13, “was an excellent platform to present the new COB, with several opportunities for activation".

    “We are extremely proud of this first edition” of the Congress, he added. The event was attended by more than 1,200 national sport professionals together with global sport personalities. Bob Bowman, Michael Phelps’ former coach and swimming head coach at Arizona State University, gave the closing presentation "Golden Rules: Ten Steps to World Class Excellence in Your Life and Work”.

    Reported by Miguel Hernandez. For general comments or questions, click here.

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