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Brazil: An Olympic balance

For a country whose best record was its medal table 15th place in Athens last time, Brazil's 23th position in the Beijing Olympics, with only 3 gold medals (2 less than 4 years ago) but over all 15 medals, this was not an extraordinary defeat. However, from newspapers to blogs, the general feeling is that of disappointment. Ana Diniz [pt] claims it needn't be like that:

A medalha olímpica é, no fundo, uma afirmação nacional, e é nisso que se fundamenta a frustração brasileira. Mas somos mais que os vigésimos do mundo? Apesar da propaganda ufanista oficial (meu Deus, como eu me lembro da ditadura, com o “eu te amo, meu Brasil, eu te amo”) não somos mais que isso, mesmo. Não é pouco – afinal, há entre duzentos e trezentos países no mundo todo. Estar no primeiro pelotão deve significar alguma coisa, não sei bem o que, se não temos pretensões a hegemonias ou novos impérios. Ou temos?

An Olympic medal is, in essence, a national affirmation, and that is where the Brazilian frustration is based. But are we more than twentieth in the world? Despite the official pride propaganda (my God, how I remember the dictatorship with its “I love you, my Brazil, I love you”) we are not more than that, not really. And it is not bad – after all, there are around two, three hundred countries worldwide. Being in the first brigade in the world league must mean something, I do not exactly know what, considering we don't have pretensions to hegemony or new empires. Or have we?

Dom [pt] balances the good moments against the pitfalls of Brazilian participation and concludes that there is more than hosting the Olympic games to being champions:

Para se aproximar do brilhantismo de delegações, como a americana, em eventos internacionais, é necessário investir nas escolas brasileiras. O sucesso no esporte passa pela valorização da educação física e a consciência de que atividades esportivas são excelentes instrumentos de inclusão social. Não podemos formar grandes atletas se não temos a base para que eles nasçam.

To get close to brilliant delegations, such as the one of the U.S. in international events, it is necessary to invest in the Brazilian schools. Success in sport involves valorizing physical education and raising awareness of sports as an excellent tool for social inclusion. We can not make great athletes if we do not have the basis for them to be born.

The gold medal in volleyball was taken as a sure bet and it didn't come. However, the worst moment for the Brazilian spectators was, indeed, the defeat, in football, to their nemesis Argentina. According to Ricardo Jurczyk Pinheiro [pt], this doesn't come as a surprise:

A seleção masculina de futebol continua sendo uma piada, de novo perderam, e de 3 a 0 para a Argentina! Nada mais humilhante, essa é a desforra pela última Copa América. No dia seguinte, Ronaldinho Gaúcho se divertindo, tocando pagode… E todo mundo aqui, de cabeça inchada.

The masculine football team remains a joke, it lost again and three nil to Argentina! Nothing could be more humiliating, that's revenge for the last American Cup. The next day, Ronaldinho Gaucho was having fun, playing pagode… while everyone here was having a headache.

- Marta.
– Dead nice to meet you.

A word play with words Marta, name one of the stars of the feminine football team, and Morto, word for Dead in Portuguese, which for most people defines well Ronaldinho's situation in this moment in his career. A cartoon by By Quinho

Angelo da Cia [pt] is happy that it has all finished and he no longer needs to:

- Ouvir a história triste do(a) brasileiro(a) que superou um passado de miséria e fugiu da criminalidade graças ao esporte;
– Ouvir a história triste do(a) brasileiro(a) que superou a falta de patrocínio e apoio para chegar às Olimpíadas;
– Ouvir a história triste do(a) brasileiro(a) que superou os preconceitos e venceu no esporte;
– Ouvir a ladainha de que o Brasil não dá apoio a seus atletas;
– Ser humilhados no quadro de medalhas pela Geórgia e a Jamaica;
– Apesar de todas as Odes ao nosso povo humilde, ver que a maioria de nossas medalhas nos Jogos vieram de nossa elite ( Hipismo, Iatismo ) ou da classe média abastada ( judô e natação );
– Ver brasileiros chorando ao ganhar medalhas;
– Ver brasileiros chorando ao perder medalhas;
– Ouvir narradores brasileiros se dizendo emocionados com a conquista de medalhas;
– Ouvir narradores brasileiros se dizendo emocionados com a perda de medalhas;
– Ver o falso público dos jogos. Entendam: Quando mostram uma mancha amarela na platéia em participações brasileiras, geralmente há uma dúzia de nativos que são parentes ou participantes dos jogos. O resto é de chineses “fantasiados” de verde-amarelo, para fazer volume e dar a impressão de que estes Jogos são normais, ou seja, atrairam torcedores do mundo todo.

– Listen to the sad history of the Brazilian who overcame a past of misery and fled crime thanks to sport;
— Listen to the sad history of the Brazilian who overcame a lack of sponsorship and support to compete in the Olympics;
— Listen to the sad history of the Brazilian who overcame prejudice and won in sport;
— Listen to the litany that Brazil does not support its athletes;
— Be humiliated on medals table by Georgia and Jamaica;
— Despite all the odes to our humble people, see that most of our medals in the games came from our elite (Riding, Sailing) or the wealthy middle class  (judo and swimming);
— See Brazilians crying when winning medals;
— See Brazilian crying when missing out on medals;
— Hear commentators saying that Brazilians were moved by the winning of medals;
— Hear commentators saying Brazilians were moved by the missing out on medals;
— See the “fake” audience at the games. Don't get me wrong: when a yellow spot is shown in the audience there is normally a dozen Brazilians who are relatives or participants at the games. The rest are Chinese “dressed up” in green-and-yellow, to make up the numbers and give the impression that these are normal games, that have attracted fans from around the world.

Now it is time to come back to real life and remember that the local elections lie ahead. As with the Olympics, Brazilians only choose their local representatives every four years and it is now time to vote. Nicholas Fernandes Gimenes [pt] asks people not to forget that:

Gostaria também que todos os brasileiros, patriotas.. que choraram pelo futebol feminino, pelo vôlei masculino.. e etc… sejam patriotas nas eleições desse ano, no trabalho, no meio-ambiente… o Brasil seria digno de medalha com certeza!

I also wish that all Brazilians, the patriots who wept at the women's football, men's volleyball and so on become patriots in this year's elections, at their work, on the environment … Brazil would be worthy of medals for sure!

“Missing an opportunity may make you lose a lot of time. And four years is a very long time”, a parody of the Superior Electoral Court (the acronym TSE in Portuguese) campaign to raise awareness about the importance of voting, taken from Caixa Pretta.

2 comments

  • I believe that this olimpic showed us how is the sport in brazil. Surely Brazil was very out of your psyco. This man an women figthed to come in olimpic.

  • Camila

    Eu acredito que as coisas podem mudar no meu país, e se temos uma virtude como nação é que não desistimos nunca, mas falta ainda muito apoio por parte dos governantes e de patrocinadores que acreditem no esporte no Brasil.

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