Olympic scouts comb the Amazon for native archers to compete at 2016 Games
Tribespeople given intensive training at Olympic village to become athletes
Rio de Janeiro
Friday 04 October 2013
Brazil’s Olympic scouts are hoping to discover a potential archery gold medallist from Amazonian tribes at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Marcia Lot, an archery scout from the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS) has been hunting through eight indigenous communities in the rainforest since February this year, looking for talented youngsters between the ages of 14 to 19 who display “tradition wisdom” with a bow-and-arrow. Working with the Amazonian Federation of Archery (FATARCO) she initially chose 80 archers from a wide number of ethnic groups including the Kambeba and Aldeia Kuana tribes.
Selectors will choose their final top three to go forward to the Olympics by the end of this month. The trainees will then be entered into Brazil’s National Championship Games in November.
The FAS concentrated its efforts on finding teenagers, born in the heart of the Amazon, with not just target-hitting skills but with the discipline needed to become a professional.
“They can hunt and hit a macaw flying 100m up in the air and spear a fish. The challenge for us now is to mix this traditional wisdom with the cutting edge technology of the Olympic sports,” said Virgilio Viana, Chief Executive of the FAS. “We are selecting young people with discipline, character, stable family backgrounds and emotional structure,” said Roberval Fernando dos Santos, FATARCO’s Brazilian archery coach.
The young athletes have now left their homes and are living in the Olympic Village in Manaus, the Amazon capital, undergoing intensive technique training with dos Santos. “Professional archery is very different from what they are accustomed to practising on a daily basis,” said dos Santos. “They have had to learn posture, coordination, alignment and anchoring. Because of their inherent abilities they have accelerated through the training and we are seeing their talents emerge.”
Jardel Cruz, 16, whose first toy was a bow and arrow, is one of the Olympic hopefuls from the Kambeba tribe in the Cuieras region near the Rio Negro. “I hope I’m one of the three selected,” said Jardel. “I would love to bring a medal home. Not just for me but for my whole community.”
For indigenous families, the training project is seen as an important step.
“Formerly, the indigenous peoples were forgotten. Not today – we are being looked at more closely and valued for what we have to offer,” said Jardel’s father.
Olympic selectors say their next step in 2014 is to find canoeing and kayaking champions among the tribes.
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered
- 3 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 4 Now we know whose fault it is if you end up being murdered in Thailand
- 5 35,000 walrus gather ashore on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Benefits 'smart cards' plan revealed by Iain Duncan Smith to stop claimants spending welfare money on alcohol
- < Previous
- Next >
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...
£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...
Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...