• Home »
  • Uncategory »
  • Brazilian Military Athletes Train to Compete in 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro

Brazilian Military Athletes Train to Compete in 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro

Brazilian Military Athletes Train to Compete in 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro

By Dialogo
December 25, 2014





Brazilian Air Force Staff Sergeant Bruno da Silveira Mendonça hopes to represent his country in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games with the same pride with which he wears his military uniform.

Mendonça, 30, is captain of the Brazilian national field hockey team. During a gala ceremony December 16 at Rio de Janeiro’s Municipal Theater, the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB) honored him with the prestigious 2014 Brazilian Olympic Prize. A jury of journalists, former athletes, and sportscasters chose Mendonça for the honor, recognizing him as the best field hockey player in the world.

Proud to represent Brazil in sports


“The prize is a recognition of individual effort and teamwork,” said Mendonça, who joined the military in 2003 as a recruit at the Specialized Aeronautic Instruction Center (CIEAR) in Rio de Janeiro. “I am contributing in my way to spreading and developing hockey. I want to represent Brazil at the Olympic Games.”

Whether Mendonça and his teammates get to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio depends on the team’s performance in the 2015 Pan-American Games, which will be held from July 10-26 in Toronto, Canada. To have a chance of qualifying for the Olympics, the Brazilian team will have to place sixth or better in the Pan-American Games.

The 2016 Olympic Games will be held from August 5-21, 2016, when Rio de Janeiro will host about 10,500 athletes from 205 countries competing in 42 events.

Military discipline helps athletes train


Mendonça is drawing upon the discipline he has learned as a Soldier to train for the competition.

His daily routine begins at 5:30 a.m. at the Air Force Sports Commission (CDA) in Rio de Janeiro. Following his morning workout, Mendonça conducts military tasks at his barracks, then finishes the day by training with his field hockey team at a club in the city of Rio.

The sergeant has little time to relax. “I get to the barracks, stretch and warm up, do races, and then at lunchtime I do sets at the gym,” he said. “It takes a great deal of physical and mental effort to handle all of this.”

Mendonça began playing field hockey in 2009. At the CDA, his dedication to practices attracted the curiosity of his peers.

“A lot of people ask me for tips on how to set up training. I try to pass on my knowledge as a professor of physical education and as an athlete to help improve others’ well-being,” he said.

Inspiring other military athletes


One person inspired by Mendonça’s enthusiasm is another military athlete hoping to compete in the 2016 Olympics: Sergeant Beatriz Neres, who competes in the triathlon.

The sergeant, who is known as Bia Neres, is vying for one of two spots on the Brazilian team for her event. She entered the Army in 2014 via the High Performance Athlete program (PAAR), an initiative launched in 2009 that helps military branches support athletes as they train. In 2014, there were 516 athletes in PAAR, including 193 in the Army, 177 in the Navy, and 146 in the Air Force, according to Army Colonel Alexandre Nascimento Freitas, a member of the Brazilian Military Sports Commission (CDMB).

Like Mendonça, the lessons of military discipline help Bia Neres in her athletic pursuits.

“Discipline is huge. To defend the country and do their job, Soldiers have to take care of their health and their body.”

Bia Neres said she was initially surprised with the intensity of physical activity at the barracks when in she entered the Army Sports Commission (CDE), which is located Rio de Janeiro and manages the PAAR, in 2014. She has completed the basic stage of a Temporary Technical Sergeant and has completed classes on military rules and values.

“There is a marked spirit of collaboration. I learned a lot from that environment, even though in my case as an athlete I am much more solitary.”

Vying for the 2016 Olympics


The triathlete, who intends to continue her career in the Army, is now training for the 2015 Pan-American Games, where she hopes to earn points toward qualifying for the 2016 Olympics.

She has been able to do so with significant financial support from PAAR. The program has an agreement with the Ministry of Sports, which provides resources to cover the monthly salaries of $1012 for a sergeant and $450 for a private, the two ranks of athletes in the program. Military athletes also earn the annual 13th monthly salary, health benefits, and child education benefit. The program provides the main source of income for about half of its participating athletes.

“The support of the Armed Forces this year is making all the difference,” Bia Neres said of PAAR.

Career athletes as well as those that enter the Armed Forces via PAAR serve as examples, transfer their knowledge to others, and promote best practices for physical activities.

“Mendonça and Bia give talks and courses and encourage qualities such as courage, resilience, and camaraderie, and even project the image of Brazil’s military organizations,” said Major Wagner Siqueira Romão Romão, the PAAR Army manager. “They help bring the Armed Forces closer to the population.”




Brazilian Air Force Staff Sergeant Bruno da Silveira Mendonça hopes to represent his country in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games with the same pride with which he wears his military uniform.

Mendonça, 30, is captain of the Brazilian national field hockey team. During a gala ceremony December 16 at Rio de Janeiro’s Municipal Theater, the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB) honored him with the prestigious 2014 Brazilian Olympic Prize. A jury of journalists, former athletes, and sportscasters chose Mendonça for the honor, recognizing him as the best field hockey player in the world.

Proud to represent Brazil in sports


“The prize is a recognition of individual effort and teamwork,” said Mendonça, who joined the military in 2003 as a recruit at the Specialized Aeronautic Instruction Center (CIEAR) in Rio de Janeiro. “I am contributing in my way to spreading and developing hockey. I want to represent Brazil at the Olympic Games.”

Whether Mendonça and his teammates get to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio depends on the team’s performance in the 2015 Pan-American Games, which will be held from July 10-26 in Toronto, Canada. To have a chance of qualifying for the Olympics, the Brazilian team will have to place sixth or better in the Pan-American Games.

The 2016 Olympic Games will be held from August 5-21, 2016, when Rio de Janeiro will host about 10,500 athletes from 205 countries competing in 42 events.

Military discipline helps athletes train


Mendonça is drawing upon the discipline he has learned as a Soldier to train for the competition.

His daily routine begins at 5:30 a.m. at the Air Force Sports Commission (CDA) in Rio de Janeiro. Following his morning workout, Mendonça conducts military tasks at his barracks, then finishes the day by training with his field hockey team at a club in the city of Rio.

The sergeant has little time to relax. “I get to the barracks, stretch and warm up, do races, and then at lunchtime I do sets at the gym,” he said. “It takes a great deal of physical and mental effort to handle all of this.”

Mendonça began playing field hockey in 2009. At the CDA, his dedication to practices attracted the curiosity of his peers.

“A lot of people ask me for tips on how to set up training. I try to pass on my knowledge as a professor of physical education and as an athlete to help improve others’ well-being,” he said.

Inspiring other military athletes


One person inspired by Mendonça’s enthusiasm is another military athlete hoping to compete in the 2016 Olympics: Sergeant Beatriz Neres, who competes in the triathlon.

The sergeant, who is known as Bia Neres, is vying for one of two spots on the Brazilian team for her event. She entered the Army in 2014 via the High Performance Athlete program (PAAR), an initiative launched in 2009 that helps military branches support athletes as they train. In 2014, there were 516 athletes in PAAR, including 193 in the Army, 177 in the Navy, and 146 in the Air Force, according to Army Colonel Alexandre Nascimento Freitas, a member of the Brazilian Military Sports Commission (CDMB).

Like Mendonça, the lessons of military discipline help Bia Neres in her athletic pursuits.

“Discipline is huge. To defend the country and do their job, Soldiers have to take care of their health and their body.”

Bia Neres said she was initially surprised with the intensity of physical activity at the barracks when in she entered the Army Sports Commission (CDE), which is located Rio de Janeiro and manages the PAAR, in 2014. She has completed the basic stage of a Temporary Technical Sergeant and has completed classes on military rules and values.

“There is a marked spirit of collaboration. I learned a lot from that environment, even though in my case as an athlete I am much more solitary.”

Vying for the 2016 Olympics


The triathlete, who intends to continue her career in the Army, is now training for the 2015 Pan-American Games, where she hopes to earn points toward qualifying for the 2016 Olympics.

She has been able to do so with significant financial support from PAAR. The program has an agreement with the Ministry of Sports, which provides resources to cover the monthly salaries of $1012 for a sergeant and $450 for a private, the two ranks of athletes in the program. Military athletes also earn the annual 13th monthly salary, health benefits, and child education benefit. The program provides the main source of income for about half of its participating athletes.

“The support of the Armed Forces this year is making all the difference,” Bia Neres said of PAAR.

Career athletes as well as those that enter the Armed Forces via PAAR serve as examples, transfer their knowledge to others, and promote best practices for physical activities.

“Mendonça and Bia give talks and courses and encourage qualities such as courage, resilience, and camaraderie, and even project the image of Brazil’s military organizations,” said Major Wagner Siqueira Romão Romão, the PAAR Army manager. “They help bring the Armed Forces closer to the population.”
Share