POSTED: Monday June 29th 2009


Event closes Olympic Week celebrations

The 2009 Rio de Janeiro marathon featured Brazilian Olympic athletes taking part in a “Family Run” relay race along six kilometers of the official race circuit to publicize the city’s bid to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The relay race turned into a party as the athletes didn’t stick to their planned stretch of 500 meters each. In fact, marathon runner Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima (winner of the de Coubertin medal in Athens 2004) opened and closed the relay alongside all of his fellow participants. “This race, with athletes from many other sports has another meaning. We want to show how the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro would transform the city and country,” said Vanderlei.

Silver medalist in the triple jump in Mexico City 68 and bronze in Munich 72, Nelson Prudêncio also took part in the event and even quoted Martin Luther King to support the Games in Rio. “I have a dream,” said the athlete, “and believe that the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will be a unique opportunity for Brazilians and South Americans have a close contact with the diverse world that sport brings,” he added.

2004 Volleyball Olympic champion in Athens, Nalbert, also believes in Rio’s success “Each gesture of support for the bid, such as this race, will make a difference in the end.”

Each athlete in the relay carried the Rio 2016 logo for their 500 meter stretch. The relay sequence was: Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima (bronze in the marathon, Athens 2004), Miguel Ângelo da Luz (coach of the silver medal winning women’s basketball team, Atlanta  96), Jaqueline Silva (gold in beach volleyball, Atlanta 96), Paulinho Vilas Boas (fifth in basketball, Seoul 88 and Barcelona 92), Adriana Samuel (silver in beach volleyball, Atlanta 96 and bronze at Sydney 2000), Cyro Delgado (bronze in the 4x200m relay, Moscow 80), Bruno Prada (silver in sailing, Beijing 2008), Sebastian Pereira (fifth in judo, Atlanta 96), Nalbert (volleyball gold, Athens 2004), Nelson Prudêncio (silver in the triple jump, Mexico City 68 and bronze at Munich 72) and Marcus Vinicius (silver in volleyball, Los Angeles 84).

“This was a demonstration of support by different generations of athletes for Rio de Janeiro’s Olympic project. The Rio marathon is already part of the international calendar and was the perfect stage for the conclusion of Olympic Week, which reinforces the dissemination of Olympic values throughout the country,” said Carlos Arthur Nuzman, president of Rio 2016 Committee.
The Rio 2016 relay closed Olympic Week celebrations, events were held in eight Brazilian cities: Rio de Janeiro (RJ), São Paulo (SP), Brasília (DF), Vitória (ES), Aracaju (SE), Barra Mansa ( RJ), São José do Rio Preto (SP) and Boa Vista (RR). Activities included races, sports clinics, lectures, exhibitions, videos, theatre, sports events and photographic exhibitions.
In the official 2009 Rio de Janeiro marathon the men’s race was won by Antonio Marcos Pereira, who completed the race in 2h17m11s.  Marizete de Paula won the women’s race with a time of 2h42m46s.

More information:

Saint-Clair Milesi


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Keywords · Rio 2016 · Marathon · Olympic week

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