Friday, April 3, 2009

Brazilian Skeleton Athlete's Second Chance

Emilio Strapasson missed the Torino 2006 Games by one position. It was a tough blow for the athlete but he's got a second chance - Vancouver 2010.

Strapasson, who has 6 years of sliding experience, finished 13th overall today in the final America's Cup race in Lake Placid, NY.
"The two weeks I spent here in Lake Placid training and competing in the America's Cup were very important," said Strapasson who lives in Brazil's southernmost state, Rio Grande do Sul, "I learned so much during the training week and was able to gain speed and reduce my time by two full seconds - in this sport that's huge."

"I'm very happy with his results," said Brazilian Ice Sports Federation President Eric Maleson, "He's ahead of everyone he needs to be for Vancouver - the best of the developing nations. But what he really needs is a new sled."

A new skeleton sled can cost up to $5000.00 and the federation is currently looking for sponsorship to give Strapasson everything he needs to improve his chances for Vancouver 2010. "Emilio turned 32 this year and really wants to finish his career with an Olympic qualification - to be Brazil's first skeleton Olympian. He's a pioneer in the sport for Brazil - he deserves it," said Maleson

Brazilian Team Heats Up Lake Placid

From left to right:
Top: Eric Maleson, Jonathan Vieira, Flavio Cruz, Marcio Souza, and Edson Bindilatti.
Below: Alcione Almeida, Fabiana Santos, Marcio Silva and Ricardo Raschini.

The Brazilan sliding delegation brought their warmth and passion to the America's Cup races in Lake Placid this week. The team, headed up by Brazilian Ice Sports Federation president Eric Maleson and two time Olympian Ricardo Raschini (luge and bobsled), is preparing for Vancouver 2010.

"We are very proud of our athletes," Maleson said,"Edson Bindilatti and Fabiana Santos have proven themselves as bobsled pilots and have mastered one of the most difficult tracks in the world." Bindilatti, Brazil's top pilot for the 2-man event also had his debut in the 4-man.

International Bobsled Federation (FIBT) coach Joe Kilburn was very enthusiastic about Santos' driving skills. "Fabiana's qualification chances are very good," Kilburn said referring to Vancouver 2010, "She needs more ice time and push-start improvement but she has the natural talent and the eye hand coordination necessary for a bob pilot."

If successful, not only would Santos be the first woman bobsled pilot to qualify a team for Brazil, she would also be the first in all of Latin America.