30
Jan
09

Brazil Curls Their Way to the Top


When I think of Brazil I think of her to the left ,or this, but what I don’t think of is their prowess at the Winter Olympics. In fact, in the history of the Winter Olympics no South American country has EVER won a medal, but Brazil won’t let that hold them down as they attempt to field their first ever curling team.

For the upcoming 2009 World Championships all of the Americas are limited to two spots. Canada, as host and returning champion are guaranteed a spot and so, Brazil has challenged the US to a best of 5 match to determine the remaining slot.

The four men who comprise the Brazilian team have been training in Canada had never played the game before they showed up for lessons. Their first coach, Judy Cassidy was surprised when the men showed up at her door in 2006 for lessons, especially since they had little to no knowledge of the game. In fact, the four men had never even MET one another before showing up for training. The men, who knew each other only through internet message boards were in Canada, three of them pursuing Masters degrees and the other working as a graphic designer had seen a competition on television and decided the sport was for them.

“At the time we were looking for a winter sport because we were newcomers in Canada,” team captain Mello said. “We didn’t know about the rules, we became passionate, I would say addicted, for¬†curling.”

3 years later and the Brazilians are challenging the Americans for the remaining spot today in sunny North Dakota although no one, including the Brazilians, expect them to beat the American team. Their own coach Cassidy said, “In light of the time they’ve been curling, they’re very good. But when you have somebody who’s been curling for a year against a team that’s very experienced, it’s going to¬†show.”

For Mello, the outcome is not very important. “We are not really thinking much about that,” he said. “What we really want is to help introduce Brazil in the curling world.”

[IHT]


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