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Brazilian participation in the Olympics - Athens 2004
Brazil won 10 medals in Athens: 4 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze medals; Brazil finished 18th, out of 202 participant countries. This was the best participation of Brazil in the Olympics.
Robert Scheidt. Gold Medal. Sailing, class Laser. Scheidt is six times world champion in his category. He had already won gold in Atlanta, and silver in Sidney.
Torben Grael and Marcelo Ferreira. Gold Medal. Sailing, class Star. This same duo had won gold in Atlanta, and bronze in Sidney. Torben had already won silver in the olympics of Los Angeles (1984) and bronze in Seoul (1988); he became not only the Brazilian with most medals in the Olympics, but also the athlete with most olympics winnings in his category (sailing). Visit Torben Grael website.
Men´s volleyball. Gold Medal. This Brazilian team, over the past few years, have won every competition in which they partipate. Brazil volleyball team is currently (August 2004) Olympic Champion, World Champion, World Cup Champion and World League Champion.
Ricardo and Emanuel. Gold Medal. Beach volley. The duo is ranked #1 in the beach volley circuit.
Women´s football.Silver medal. The sport doesn´t attract much attention of Brazilian media; so, it was a little surprising to see the team winning the medal. In the final match, the USA team was clear favorite to win, but the Brazilians dominated most of the actions and deserved winning.
Adriana and Shelda. Silver medal. Beach volley. Long time partners, Adriana and Shelda repeated the silver medal performance of Sidney.
Rodrigo Pessoa. Silver medal. Equestrian jumping. Rodrigo´s father was himself an olympic medal winner. Rodrigo and his horse, Balouet du Ruet, rank amongst the top duo in the circuit. Rodrigo was absolute favorite in Sidney 2000, but Balouet flinched; this time, Rodrigo kept a low profile during his preparation and the competition, but his medal was not a surprise.
Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima. Bronze medal and Coubertin´s special medal. Vanderlei led the Marathon from km 5 to km 36, when he was attacked by a fanatic; the attack not only delayed Vanderlei, but had also a negative psychological effect on his performance. Because of the incident, the Brazilian Committee asked the Olympic Committee to consider the possibility of awarding two gold medals to the marathon competition, but the OC refused; instead, Vanderlei was awarded, besides the bronze, the Pierre de Coubertin´s special medal, given only to athletes which show outstanding fair play. Vanderlei is bi-champion of marathon in the Pan-American Games, and has won a few competitions in past years; however, his performance was a suprise to Brazilian media and fans.
Leandro Guilheiro. Bronze medal. Judo, up to 73 kg. Leandro is pupil of Rodrigo Sampaio, former gold medal winner.
Flavio Canto.Bronze medal. Judo, up to 81 kg. Flavio is also a pupil of Rodrigo Sampaio´s.
The men´s Brazilian football team did not qualify to the Olympics; the two South American countries, Argentina and Paraguay, won gold and silver.
Daiane dos Santos arrived to the finals as absolute favorite to the gold medal; however, she made a few mistakes in her presentation, and finished 5th. Even without medals, she was the best Brazilian gymnast ever; besides Daiane, two other Brazilian gymnasts (Daniele Hypolito and Camila Comin) reached the finals in gymnasts competitions.
The women´s volleyball team finished 4th, feeling a medal slipping though the fingers. In the semifinal against Russia, Brazil was leading by 2 x 1 sets, and the score was 24 x 19 in the fourth set; Brazil had four match points, but permitted Russia to win that set and eventually the match.
The women´s basketball team also finished 4th, beaten by USA, Australia and Russia.
Other athletes who had hopes to bring medals were Carlos Honorato and Vania Vania Ishii (in judo), Gustavo Kuerten (Guga was beaten in the first round by Chilean Massu, who would eventually win gold medal) and Jadel Gregório (triple jump); unfortunately, they found better contenders.
Other sports in which Brazilians have a tradition of winning medals are Athletics, table tennis and swimming, but this time there was not any.
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