About a month ago, Brazil’s team coordinator Georgette Vidor named the five women most likely to represent the host country at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. After strong performances in Anadia this weekend, this team is now confirmed.
Four-time Olympian Daniele Hypolito, 31, will lead her fifth team, one that also includes her 2008 Olympic teammate Jade Barbosa, 2015 worlds team member and national champion Lorrane Oliveira, 2015 worlds team member Flavia Saraiva, and Rebeca Andrade, who suffered a series of injuries between 2014 and 2015, but helped her team to a first-place finish at the Olympic Test Event in April.
“This has been our team since the test event,” Hypolito told the press. “In fact, it’s been our team since the 2015 Pan Am Games, before we even earned a spot at the Olympics.”
“These five were very good at the test event,” Vidor said. “This team will not change, barring injury.”
The team has a lot of balance with almost no weaknesses, including especially stacked line-ups on vault and beam, some beautiful work from Andrade on bars, and a mix of big tumbling and crowd-pleasing routines on floor, with 16-year-old Saraiva coming to take the country and the world by storm as the Dominique Moceanu of this year’s Games.
For real, Saraiva’s floor routine in that same arena at the test event was one of the top five gymnastics moments I’ve ever experienced live, and that was with about 25% of the crowd that will be there in August. She is going to charm the pants off of everyone to easily become the darling of the Games, and she’s also going to blow everyone away with her event finals-worthy beam set, which just won gold in Anadia with a 15.125.
This is the exact team that has been competing together all year, including at Jesolo and at the test event, with first-year senior Carolyne Pedro tacked on as the sixth member. Pedro will likely be the alternate for the Games, though this won’t be decided until a later date, probably after the team’s friendly meet against the Netherlands on July 10.
Her competition for the spot includes 2014 worlds team member Julie Kim Sinmon, who missed the 2015 season due to injury, and Milena Theodoro, the test event alternate.
Article by Lauren Hopkins