Rio visit a great success
Britain’s top rowers are returning tomorrow from a 10-day Olympic training and orientation camp in the city that will play host to the 2016 Games.
36 rowers, all of whom were top-eight finishers at the recent World Championships, and seven staff were involved in the camp with the world-famous Flamengo Clube playing host.
“We have had an outstanding camp and we have been exceptionally well looked after”, said Sir David Tanner, GB Rowing Team Performance Director. “We were able to give the rowers and staff knowledge and experience of the Olympic city so that when we return in 2016 we can just slot in and get on with our business.
“Rio is a really different culture in a very positive sense. Rio is stunning and it has been important for us to see that and then it’s not a distraction in two years’ time”.
The squad, in between training on ergos and in a gym set up for them with the help of Eduardo Saubel and Marcelo Vido – two key personalities at the Flamengo Clube – were able to visit the Olympic venue at Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas located in the heart of the city in the Copacabana cluster of venues.
Rio 2016 competition staff hosted a tour of the venue and gave the rowers an idea of how it would operate in 2016. “We were able to visit the venue and be well briefed on our field of play at Games time”, said Tanner.
In addition the “totally helpful” Rio 2016 National Olympic Committee (NOC) services staff facilitated a visit to the Olympic Village where Tanner and the squad were impressed by how advanced the construction of the 17 storey accommodation blocks was.
The GB rowers’ visit was also underpinned by welcome support from the British Olympic Association headed by Team GB’s 2016 Chef de Mission, Mark England. The rowers learnt about Team GB and the progress of preparations for the team in Games time in 2016. The team also visited the British School in Rio, where they took part in an Assembly and were hosted by the British Consul-General in Rio, Jonathan Dunn, at a Reception where they were able to mix with local business and sports representatives.
In addition to training hard, the rowers were able to mingle with the club rowers at the Flamengo Clube which was a motivation for both sides.