Interview With Vice Admiral Bernardo Gamboa
By Dialogo July 25, 2011
In an interview with Diálogo a year ago, the president of Brazil’s Military Sports Commission, Vice-Admiral José Bernardo Pierantoni Gamboa, said that he believed that investment in elite athletes was worth it. He predicted that the level of competition would gain public recognition and was optimistic about the performance of Brazil. “Our goal is to place in the top three in the medals table,” he said at the time. With a few competitions to left before the Militaty Games comes to a close 5 th Military World Games, Diálogo talked with the Vice Admiral again to see whether he had changed his mind and gotten a better perspective of the event.
Diálogo: What do you have to say about the lessons learned from these Military World Games?
Admiral Gamboa: We learned a lot from the Games. We are always learning. We are also too in recognizing our mistakes in order to improve in the future. On the other hand, there were many successful aspects as well.
Diálogo: What was the biggest success?
Admiral Gamboa: No doubt it was the training of our athletes. We prepared very well. We had an objective, a goal to be achieved, which was placing well in the medals table. We work hard. We invested in our athletes; we gave everyone the best training conditions and we were successful as a result. I for one am very pleased with the results obtained by Brazil.
Diálogo: These results have to ratify the idea that you had of the importance of attracting elite athletes for the Armed Forces?
Admiral Gamboa: No doubt. I think this was correct. These athletes are Brazilian. They represent our country and other countries did the same thing. Actually, I think we should give a little more attention to this because, with this model, we are enlarging the sports world, not just Brazil. As you can see, the level of competition at the 5th Military World Games was very high. I think that was very good.
Diálogo: Do you think that Brazil, with the investment and the importance given to the 5th Military World Games, set an example for others who may, perchance, host this event in their countries, ie, this is a new example to be followed?
Admiral Gamboa: I think so. I think CISM, after these Games are done, will have another model to follow for the next Military World Games. CISM is reshaping the way they think and act, and there is already a strategic plan for quality improvement. There are military athletes from 133 countries affiliated with CISM. Very good people. I think it is even a matter of respect for the athletes as we organize events so that they can represent their countries well and hold a competition to generate worldwide interest, ie for people to feel happy about going to the stadium and seeing high quality games.
Diálogo: What are your opinions about the organization of the 5th Military World Games?
Admiral Gamboa: I have only praise, but if I had to do something to improve even more, I think we should have focused more on the building of the military villages so that they could have been ready earlier before the Games began and we would have been able to receive the athletes better.
Diálogo: Will the military who were involved with the Games have any involvement in the planning and organizing of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics?
Admiral Gamboa: I think so. We’re here to help and to contribute. If we are called upon, then of course we’ll help. With exception to security, the World Cup is an event we won’t be too much involved in since it is only one sport. As for the Olympics, yes, I think there’s much we can do.
Diálogo: In terms of preparation, what do you attribute the poor performance of countries that are traditionally sports powers?
Admiral Gamboa: I can’t speak for other countries, I can only say that we prepared well and the results are there to prove it.
Diálogo: Do you think the 5th Military World Games fulfilled its goal of promoting peace?
Admiral Gamboa: Promoting peace has always been one of the purposes of the Olympic Games. The World Military Games was no different. It was a celebration of peace. A historic moment.