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Aug 20, 2016 04:56 PM

RIO 2016

Brazilian Artistic Gymnastics medallists: "This trio is definitely going to Tokyo!"

Arthur Zanetti, Diego Hypólito and Arthur Nory highlighted importance of federal government sports programmes for their medal wins

Brazil's Artistic Gymnastics medallists in Rio 2016, Arthur Zanetti (26), Diego Hypólito (30) and Arthur Nory (22), highlighted the key role played by federal government investments in infrastructure, facilities and financial incentives in their medal wins in Rio. "Government support directly influenced [our performance] through grants," said Diego, one of the team's veterans and twice world champion on the floor exercise. "As this support continues, I believe we have a chance to go to Tokyo," said the gymnast during an interview on Saturday (20 August) at the Rio Media Center. "This trio is definitely going to Tokyo," he promised.

The three gymnasts are beneficiaries of the "Podium" modality of the Bolsa Atleta programme ("Athlete Grant"), one of the main initiatives of the Brazil Medals Plan. The aim of the grant is to support athletes with a chance to make it to Olympic and Paralympic finals and medal-awarding competitions with monthly grants ranging from R$ 5,000 to R$ 15,000. Since 2005, more than 17,000 Brazilian athletes benefited from grants under the programme.

Brazil's men's artistic gymnastics team made history in the 2016 Games. After making it to the final team round for the first time, Brazilian gymnasts reached an unprecedented podium in the individual floor exercise, and with two athletes at that: Diego Hypólito won the silver and Arthur Nory took the bronze. Until Rio 2016, Arthur Zanetti's gold in the rings in London 2012 was the only medal the country had ever earned in the sport. He has now achieved a second medal, this time a silver, in the same exercise in Rio.

Still celebrating his results in Rio 2016, Zanetti highlighted the visibility that the Olympics provides the sport as a means to encourage new athletes. "It's a historic moment not only for the medals, but also because it creates idols for the new generation," said the gymnast. In São Caetano, the city where Zanetti trains, a trials event held on August 18 for new students attracted 240 children in one day. "They see us on television and get inspired, and that is the greatest legacy the Olympics can leave."

Nory, who won a bronze medal in his first Olympics, said it is important to have idols to inspire you, citing the influence of former gymnast Daiane dos Santos in his own choice for the sport. "Every child needs idols to serve as a mirror, to follow." Diego, who trains since the age of 7 and won his first medal in his third Olympics, emphasized the social role of sport. "Sport is an incredible form of social inclusion; it changes a child's life," said the medallist.


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