Brazilian Athletes Sacrifice Olympic Dreams to Aid Flood Victims

Just months before the Paris Olympics, Brazilian athletes from the flood-ravaged state of Rio Grande do Sul are facing a heartbreaking decision. Brazil is facing devastating floods that have displaced hundreds of thousands and left over a hundred dead. These athletes are choosing to put their Olympic dreams on hold to help their communities during this critical time.

Less than three months before the Paris Olympic Games, Brazilian athletes from Rio Grande do Sul are choosing to stay and help with flood relief efforts instead of pursuing their Olympic dreams.

Rowers Evaldo Becker and Piedro Tuchtenhagen, set to compete in the Olympics, decided to abandon their training and assist in rescuing stranded neighbors and distributing aid.

Their training was put on hold as they joined other volunteers in rescuing stranded neighbors and providing aid. “I didn’t even think twice. It was my last chance to get to the Olympics. I was excited. But the flood waters took my dream away just as it took lives,” Becker said.

“The Olympics are our dream, but we can’t leave our state in this crisis,” said Tuchtenhagen.

Their training was halted by floods in Porto Alegre, so they joined efforts to assist affected families.

Swimmer Viviane Jungblut, who was already qualified for the Olympics, also withdrew to focus on rescue operations. World surfing champion Italo Ferreira and Brazil’s Olympic judo coach, Antonio Carlos Kiko Pereira, joined the rescue efforts.

Despite plans by the Brazilian Olympic Committee to relocate athletes for training, they chose to remain in Rio Grande do Sul.

Former Olympic athletes, including gymnast Daiane dos Santos and swimmer Nicholas Santos, also volunteered.

The floods in Rio Grande do Sul have claimed 113 lives, with 146 people still missing, and displaced over 300,000 from their homes.

Though water levels dropped, more rain is expected, raising concerns of further flooding.

These acts of selflessness highlight the human spirit in the face of tragedy. While the Olympics represent the pinnacle of athletic achievement, these Brazilian athletes are demonstrating that there are times when something even greater takes precedence – helping those in need during their darkest hour.

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