Oliveira taking inspiration from “mindblowing” London Olympics

Original article by the Olympic News Service at Rio 2016.

Bernardo Oliveira believes home advantage will prove crucial as Brazilian archers target medal success, having watched as Great Britain's athletes took inspiration from the crowd in London four years ago.

Oliveira and his teammates were the first archers to train at the Sambodromo when the venue opened its doors ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games archery competition.

And 23-year-old Oliveira is sure all Brazilian athletes can draw strength from the home support.

“I just can’t describe the importance of a home Games,” he said. “I was at London in a programme that took young athletes to have a first experience of the Games, with our preparation for 2016 in mind. It was mindblowing. The atmosphere of the city, the energy, and whenever Great Britain was competing it was crazy.” 

“It feels great to be part of something that is gathering the entire country. It's a historical moment for us, and being part of it is an honour.”

The Brazil squad shows signs of peaking at the right time, with the mixed team making the Medellin World Cup finals and the men’s team reaching the bronze match at the Antalya World Cup this year, the last two major international competitions before the Games.

“Our hopes for Rio are simple: a medal,” Oliveira said. “Doesn't matter if it’s teams, individual, men or women. Archery is already receiving a lot of support and attention in Brazil, and an Olympic medal would be the ultimate boost for us. Our latest international results give us confidence.”

Archery is enjoying an increasingly high profile in Brazil, with archer Marcus D’Almeida having carried the Olympic torch through central Sao Paulo on Sunday.

“We've got a lot of support around us from the Brazil Olympic staff, a lot of people who have been to other Olympics and have the experience of working on this,” Oliveira said. “So we're just separating our time; when we do press, when we have fun, and when we have to do the serious work.”

The archery competition is being held at the Sambodromo, an historic venue in Rio de Janeiro's downtown designed by Brazil’s most famous architect Oscar Niemeyer.