Olympics 2021 - Brazil's Sporting Heroes
Brazil is known as a country of superlatives and records and is also the largest country in South America, of which it even occupies 47.3 percent of its area. The metropolis of São Paulo, the largest city in South America, is also located in Brazil. Brazil is one of the largest coffee producers in the world, and the Brazilian flora and fauna are also unique and among the most diverse in the world. No wonder that every year many visitors explore the diversity of Brazil on a Brazil vacation.
The 302 Brazilian male and female athletes also had a lot planned for the Olympic Games in Tokyo and set new records. So it was worth it that many Brazilians spent their nights in front of the TV in the last few weeks, due to the time difference, to keep their fingers crossed for their compatriots. Seven gold, six silver, and eight bronze medals were secured by the athletes and with 21 medals, they reached the 12th place in the medal table of the nations.
Artistic gymnastics - Rebeca Andrade makes history
Rebeca Andrade climbed the podium twice at the Summer Games, becoming the first Brazilian athlete to win two medals in the same edition of the Olympics. In the all-around individual, she secured the silver medal, winning the first-ever medal for Brazil in this discipline. In the vault, she went one better and won the gold medal. She is thus the first Brazilian to win two medals in one edition of the Olympic Games. The likable girl with the big smile was even allowed to carry the Brazilian flag at the closing ceremony.
The victories are the culmination of a career that had begun with difficulties. Rebeca Andrade is the daughter of a single mother and has six siblings, but they have always supported her. At the age of 5, Rebeca started training in Guarulhos, São Paulo, and when she was only 9, she was allowed to move to the Elite Sport Centre in Paraná.
The athlete never gave up, even after a knee injury at 15. She missed several competitions and had to undergo knee surgery three times. Despite this, she finished 11th in the all-around singles at the Rio Olympics, when she was only 17, and went on to win two medals in Tokyo this year.
Surfing and Skating - Newly Introduced Olympic Disciplines
The newly introduced Olympic disciplines of Surf and Skate brought Brazil four medals at once. Skaters Rayssa Leal, Kelvin Hoefler, and Pedro Barros secured three silver medals, and surfer Italo Ferreira picked up a gold medal.
At the age of 13, Rayssa Leal is the youngest Brazilian participant in the Olympics and also Brazil's youngest medalist. Despite her young age, the skater convinced everyone with her skills and won the silver medal. The "skate fairy" became famous already a few years ago through a video clip in which she performs a heelflip in a blue fairy dress.
Olympic gold with a broken surfboard, this is certainly not how Italo Ferreira had imagined his start in the new Olympic discipline. In the final, his surfboard was broken by a wave. But that didn't stop him from winning. On land, he took one of his spare boards, paddled back out to sea, and took the victory with his personal highest score.
Records, surprises, and medals
Brazilian female athletes also picked up a record at the Olympics, as they accounted for nine of the 21 medals.
For tennis players, Luisa Stefani and Laura Pigossi, who secured Brazil's first medal in tennis doubles, participating in the Olympics was a big surprise. The two only found out about their participation a week before the start of the Games, as they were to replace the title duo. Even though they did not start the tournament as favorites, the two were able to secure the bronze medal.
Isaquias Queiroz was able to win a gold medal in the 1,000-meter canoe race. The Brazilian had already won three medals in Rio in 2016 and is now one of the five athletes from Brazil who have secured four or five Olympic medals.
In the 200-meter freestyle swim, Brazil's Fernando Scheffer set a new South American record, set his own best time, and also secured bronze.
With a gold medal, Ana Marcela Cunha triumphed in the 10-kilometer swimming marathon, securing her first Olympic victory.
Brazilian athletes won other medals in soccer, boxing, judo, volleyball, pole vault, hurdles, and sailing.
Paralympics - big goals in sight
The Brazilian para-athletes have also set their goals high for the Paralympics in Tokyo. The 253 athletes who were allowed to travel to Japan want to win at least thirteen gold medals, in order to break the hundred mark. Because so far, Brazil has received a total of 87 gold medals when participating in the Summer Paralympic Games.
Record-breakingly beautiful places in Brazil
But Brazilians can't just win us over when it comes to sports. Brazil also has some record-breakingly beautiful places to see on a Brazil trip.
The impressive waterfalls in the tri-border area of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay never cease to amaze their visitors. The Iguaçu waterfalls are one of the natural wonders of Brazil. 275 waterfalls stretch over a width of three kilometers and fall up to 80 meters into the depth. They are wider than Victoria Falls and higher than Niagara Falls, and you simply have to see them.
The Pantanal, one of the largest inland wetlands in the world, is also one of Brazil's most fascinating natural paradises. Pantanal means "marshy area" in English, which is no surprise to anyone since enormous rainfall means that the water hardly drains away and the area is underwater for up to six months. In 2000, the Pantanal was designated a "World Heritage Site" and attracts vacationers from all over the world to explore its unique flora and fauna. About 120 mammal species, about 100 reptile species, about 60 amphibian species, more than 650 bird species, 240 fish species, and more than 1,700 different plant species can be seen in the Pantanal. Particularly popular is the jaguar, which likes to sunbathe on the riverbanks, especially in the dry season when water levels are low.
The Amazon Rainforest, often referred to as the "Green Lungs of the World", occupies one-fifth of the South American continent. The second longest and most water-rich river on earth flows through the Amazon, and the largest rainforest on earth grows here with an incredible variety of plants and animals. Staying in a lodge in the Amazon allows you to explore this unique ecosystem up close.
Sources: www.gov.br, www.olympics.com, www.wikipedia.org