Some of Brazil’s greatest athletes came together on the weekend in Fortaleza, State of Ceara in northeast Brazil for the 2009 National University Games, promoting Rio’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
The event kicked off Friday with about 3,400 participants, including 3,000 competitors, competing in eight categories – four team events (basketball, futsal soccer, handball and volleyball) and four individual events (track and field, judo, swimming and chess).
The opening ceremony showcased public support for Rio 2016 with a dedicated ceremony featuring the city’s logo on a flag.
Edgar Hubner of the Brazilian Olympic Committee and Director of Brazil’s School and University Games said, “many of the competitors already have Olympic, Pan American and World Championship track records, proof that the project (which was launched in 2005) is consolidating its position in the Brazilian sports calendar. Educational institutions are investing more in sports and are increasingly realizing that the event’s organization is continuously improving and providing their athletes and schools with greater visibility. This is also a clear illustration of the support from Brazilian school sports for the Rio 2016 campaign and their shared dream to host the Games”.