Friday, April 10, 2009

CBDG Meets Canadian Prime Minister

Brazilian Ice Sports Federation (CBDG) president Eric Maleson (left) and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper (right) discuss ice sports in Brazil.

April 8, 2009 - When Brazilian Ice Sports Federation (CBDG) president Eric Maleson attended the annual World Curling federation (WCF) congress in Moncton, New Brunswick, he had no idea he'd be meeting Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Prime Minister Harper arrived to watch the 2009 Ford Men's Curling Championships.

"I know that Brazil has been developing Olympic winter sports and I read about your curling team," Prime Minister Harper told Maleson. Maleson informed the Prime Minister about the Olympic ice center that CBDG is building in Brazil and the Prime Minister expressed enthusiasm.

"It was an incredible surprise and honor," said Maleson, who was invited by WCF president Les Harrison to join the Prime Minister and New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham at the Moncton Coliseum, "It's inspiring to know that the Canadian Prime Minister is aware of our federation's work and a great boost of confidence for our Vancouver 2010 efforts."

Other good news for Brazil came during the Congress when WCF president Les Harrison announced that South America would have its own curling spot at the first Youth Winter Games which will be held in January 2012 - Innsbruck, Austria "This is a huge opportunity for Brazil in the sport of curling," said Maleson, "We're proud of our curling athletes who were the pioneers in the sport. When we challenged the US in Bismarck, ND this past January, one of our objectives was to demonstrate our commitment."

Monday, April 6, 2009

Bye Bye Lake Placid Hello Vancouver

The competition season is over for Brazil's ice sports athletes but there is still much to accomplish to qualify athletes for Vancouver 2010. Figure skaters Kevin Alves and Stacy Perfetti have returned to their training (Stacy trains in New Jersey and Kevin in Toronto) to improve their skills before next season and the sliding athletes (photo above) have returned to Brazil for summer training.

The Brazilian Ice Sports Federation has already made a decision regarding its bobsled athletes based on national and international criteria. Edson Bindilatti will be Brazil's bobsled pilot for both the 2 and 4 man while Fabiana Santos will pilot the 2-woman bob (push-athletes for the Brazilian teams to be announced).

"It was clear from the beginning who would make it and who wouldn't," said Brazilian Ice Sports Federation president and former bob pilot Eric Maleson, "All of the athletes who attended the Bobsled school in Lake Placid are brave souls and deserve a lot of credit but in the end it comes down to who is the better pilot - its the pilot who qualifies a team."

Skeleton athlete Emilio Strapasson, who improved a great deal during the training and America's Cup races in Placid, will do his best to qualify for Vancouver and Stefani Salani, Brazil's first female luge athlete, could also go all the way to 2010.

"Bobsled was Brazil's first ice sport and I'm proud that we've been able to keep the program alive - we have a new generation of pilots including the first woman's team. But now we hope to qualify athletes in other modalities too like skeleton, women's luge and figure skating. We've competed internationally in curling and short track speed skating, but it will be a while before we're able to say we're ready to try and qualify for an Olympics in those modalities," said Maleson, "And next is ice hockey - after many years of work to form the first Brazilian ice hockey team, that would be a dream come true."