The Romantic Origin of Brazilian Olympic Sport. Athletics – Rowing and Other Pioneers
The sport of Brazil grew based on a generation that developed and consolidated its spirit under the influence of a romantic aura generated at the end of the nineteenth century and that had in Coubertin the symbol of an indoctrinating and exceptional figure, attracting and crystallizing consciences that they remained until the middle of the following century.
This generation allowed the disclosure of extraordinary values. I don’t know if everyone knows the story of sailor Adalberto Cardoso at the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles. As this trip to the X Olympics Games became part of our folklore, as, as we know, part of our delegation did not stay in Los Angeles, the venue of the tournament, having gone to San Francisco, it is curious to mention the way in which Adalberto Cardoso, who was among the athletes who went to this last city, ended up participating in the 10,000 meters race. Well, without resources and without support from anyone, Adalberto decided to try his luck. Thus, traveling on foot, or hitchhiking car drivers, trucks, or other means of transportation, Adalberto won the 400 km distance that separates the two cities, arriving at the Olympic stadium a few minutes before the start of the race. He ran for it, finishing last. The audience, having been informed of his story, applauded him warmly and the press qualified him as “Iron Man”.
No less relevant will it be to mention the spirit of the Olympic Charter that profoundly influenced that generation, assuring the values of that time with respect for discipline and subjecting them to all possible sacrifices, without the obsession of pecuniary. Among many, we would highlight the presence of the Remo garrisons in the training they underwent in the waters of the rivers, or the sea, making it high in the morning and, for that, making the boat sheds of the respective clubs as housing, in order to allow them attendance to workplaces at the conventional time.
Adalberto Cardoso, the pioneers Rowers and many others who gave their lives to national sport, deserve a prominent place in the hall of fame of our hearts. Knowing our athletic origins, respecting them, preserving them, publicizing them is a constant reference for those who fight in the sport.
These examples cited there evidence the incompatibility of two eras, because today such facts would not be registered, for the pure and simple reason that, today, sport is seen as a representative figure of a nation, valuing it in terms of its conduct in tournaments that participates and no longer as a means of leisure and dilettantism, as it happened in the past. For this reason, the principles that govern our Olympic delegations cannot ignore the philosophical values that guided our heroes of the past, without whom, we would never have reached the levels that, today, allow us to expand our sporting horizons.