Following UK Sport cuts in funding for some Olympic sports on the road to Rio 2016, there was some upbeat news today from the British Olympic Association to incentivise athletes bidding to participate in the first ever Games in South America.
The BOA has inked an agreement with the Minas Tenis Clube in Belo Horizonte to host
the Olympic preparation camp for Team GB athletes. Belo Horizonte, the third
largest city in Brazil, is also a host venue for next June's FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2014 World Cup. It's a 45-minute flight from Rio (437km).
Average July temperature in the city is 21°C
Here's the website for the MTC - http://minastenisclube.com.br/
It was selected following an extensive search across Brazil and neighbouring countries for a suitable training camp. BOA chief executive Andy Hunt, director of Games services Mark England and head of sport engagement
Mike Hay were at today's signing ceremony.
National Governing Bodies were closely consulted in the
selection process and it is anticipated that many sports will make use of the Team GB training camp, either for training or acclimatisation,
prior to the Rio 2016 Games.
The BOA says the high quality facilities at the MTC include numerous indoor sports
halls and gymnasiums, the swimming pool used to host the 2008 FINA World
Cup, and the ‘Lagoa dos Ingleses’ (Englishman’s Lake) that could be used for training in sports such as rowing, canoeing
Hunt said: “Getting your pre-Games training and preparation environment right is
absolutely essential to the success of an Olympic team on foreign soil. Today’s announcement represents another major step forward in our
operational planning and preparation for Team GB ahead of the Rio 2016
Olympics and a key part of our ambition to be the ‘most local non-local
team’ at the 2016 Games."
Hunt said BOA chiefs were "very impressed" with the breadth of world-class sporting
facilities available at the Minas Tenis Clube.
"We are confident that the MTC
environment will offer the flexibility required by Team GB’s sports and
we look forward to developing our relationship with President Sergio
Bruno Zech Coelho and his team at the MTC as we expand and build upon
our detailed planning for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games."
About Belo Horizonte
* The Independencia Stadium was the venue for England's shock 1-0 loss to the USA in the 1950 World Cup, one of the greatest upsets in the tournament's history
* The 64,000 capacity Estadio Mineirao will stage six matches at the 2014 World Cup including one
* The city is home to three professional clubs - Cruzeiro, Atletico Mineiro and América