Arquivo da tag: Esporte

Brasil sediará em 2015 a primeira edição dos Jogos Mundiais Indígenas (Portal do Meio Ambiente)


Provas de corrida com tronco e arco e flecha, nos Jogos Índigenas, em Cuiabá, no Mato Grosso. Foto: Marcos Vergueiro/ GEMT (11/11/2013)

Depois do sucesso da Copa do Mundo, o Brasil se consolida como sede de grandes eventos esportivos. O próximo desafio será a realização dos I Jogos Mundiais Indígenas (JMI), que acontecerão em setembro de 2015 em Palmas (TO), com a presença de mais de dois mil atletas de 30 países. De acordo com o prefeito de Palmas, Carlos Amastha, a decisão de realizar os I Jogos Mundiais Indígenas em Palmas aconteceu em reunião do Comitê Intertribal realizada na Organização das Nações Unidas (ONU), que referendou a escolha.

“A realização dos Jogos Mundiais Indígenas no Brasil é mais uma oportunidade de mostrar ao mundo a diversidade do Brasil, além de valorizar a riqueza cultural dos povos indígenas e promover outros segmentos do Turismo como o Ecoturismo e o Turismo de Aventura”, avalia o presidente da Embratur, Vicente Neto.

A Embratur começará a promoção dos Jogos Mundiais Indígenas na WTM, que acontece nesta semana em Londres e reúne cerca de 50 mil visitantes. Além disso, o Instituto incorporará o evento nas demais feiras e ações que realizará até o início dos JMI, em setembro de 2015. “O apoio da Embratur é fundamental para o sucesso dos Jogos. Todo o estado de Tocantins tem um enorme potencial turístico que precisamos promover, além dos já conhecidos Jalapão e o artesanato com capim dourado. Temos cidades históricas e inúmeros locais para o turismo de aventura”, destacou Amastha.

Com o conceito Somos Todos Indígenas, a capital do Tocantins está se preparando para receber atletas de dezenas de etnias de todo o mundo. Foi criada a Secretaria Extraordinária dos Jogos Mundiais Indígenas, responsável por toda a organização do evento. O titular do cargo, Hector Franco, afirma que a conclusão dos projetos e o desenvolvimento das construções das estruturas para receber os Jogos ocorrerão dentro do período estabelecido.

Além dos indígenas das Américas, também estarão presentes os povos da Austrália, Japão, Noruega, Rússia, China e Filipinas. Do Brasil, cerca de 22 etnias devem participar da competição. Apenas no Tocantins existem sete etnias com uma população aproximada de 10 mil pessoas. Tiro com arco e flecha, arremesso de lança, cabo de força, corrida de velocidade rústica (100m), canoagem rústica tradicional, corrida de tora, lutas corporais, futebol de campo, xikunahati (futebol de cabeça), natação e atletismo estão entre as modalidades que serão disputadas em Palmas.

Jogos indígenas

Os Jogos dos Povos Indígenas surgiu no Brasil em 1996 em Goiânia, realizado pelo Comitê Intertribal Memória e Ciência Indígena, com apoio do Governo Federal. Desde então, houve 13 edições nacionais.

Deep in the Amazon, an Isolated Village Tunes In to the World Cup (New York Times)

MANAUS, Brazil — The PP Maués would not set sail for an hour, but its long and narrow decks were already crisscrossed with hammocks for an overnight trip down the Amazon.

By the time it was to dock early last Monday at the regional port for which it was named, the Maués would have traveled 15 hours from the nearest World Cup stadium.

A second boat would be needed to reach an even more remote indigenous village that planned to watch Brazil play Mexico last Tuesday. The village did not have electricity or cellphone signals and would rely on a diesel generator to indulge its secluded passion for soccer.

While Rio de Janeiro and its famous beaches provide the touristic backdrop of the World Cup, the fevered grip of the world’s most popular sporting event can be felt even in some of the most isolated areas of the rain forest, where outsiders seldom visit.

“Football is in our blood,” said Andre Pereira da Silva, 32, the chief of a small community of Sateré-Mawé Indians in Manaus, the largest city in the Amazon, who served as a guide. The intended destination was his home village, Monte Salém, one of an estimated 150 Sateré-Mawé (pronounced sah-teh-RAY mah-WAY) communities of about 11,000 residents along the lower Amazon.

The decks of the PP Maués were crisscrossed with hammocks for an overnight trip down the Amazon.CreditMauricio Lima for The New York Times

“Wait until you see it,” Pereira da Silva said. “You will feel you are in the middle of the stars.”

As a boy in Monte Salém, he made soccer balls with the sap of rubber trees, using a stick to shape the latex into an improvised if sometimes uncontrollable sphere.

“Ten trees for one ball,” he said, sitting in the boat’s tiny dining room Sunday with his young son, his own thick hair tied in a ponytail. “The problem was, it bounced too much.”

On the passenger boat’s upper deck, the sentimental romance of Brega music played from two huge speakers. More than 300 customers were aboard a ship half the length of a football field. Children played among the hammocks and the luggage or peered over the rails. Some passengers transported used televisions or flat screens still in their boxes. In the aft of the boat, a new washing machine and refrigerator were lashed together, as if exposed as stowaways.

Most passengers lay in their hammocks, sleeping, reading, or listening to music and playing games on smartphones. Some watched on tiny green screens as Lionel Messi and Argentina opened their World Cup against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The game was also showing on a small, staticky television in the boat’s galley. Two men sat on backless chairs. Two more peered in the doorway as a cook made gelatinous soup from orzo, meat and carrots.

“Messi’s slow tonight,” Rodrigo Xavier, 26, said. “He’s not playing well.

Xavier, a Brazil fan, drew great pleasure from this.

Minutes later, Messi passed the ball and retrieved it on a give-and-go. He skimmed the top of the penalty area, dribbling past two defenders who collided and fell behind him. Given wide space, he ricocheted a shot off the left goal post and into the net. Xavier smiled. This was why Messi was widely considered the best player in the world. Even a Brazilian had to admit his appreciation.

Abruptly, the kitchen cleared. The boat had no satellite dish, and the TV’s antennas lost contact with the signal from Manaus. Paulo José, the ship’s owner, was left to eat in silence. He did not seem to mind.

“I don’t like football at all,” José said. “I’m different from most of the men.”

A nearly full moon appeared, sending a column of light rippling toward the boat. A man pointed his flashlight at the water’s edge, searching for caimans and their cigarette eyes. The stars seemed as white and near as the blossoms that hung from trees like scoops of ice cream.

MONDAY DAWNED COOL and overcast. Lightning flashed on the horizon. The rain came, and rolls of blue plastic were unfurled along the sides of the decks to keep passengers dry.

“It’s raining because the English are here” at the World Cup, Pereira da Silva said with a laugh.

Passengers disembarked the Maués after a 15-hour overnight trip down the Amazon.Credit Mauricio Lima for The New York Times

By 8 a.m., only a drizzle remained as the boat reached Maués, a small regional port where a caffeine-rich plant called guaraná is manufactured for use in sodas, energy drinks and herbal teas. Firecrackers greeted the ship’s arrival. Fishermen paddled canoes toward market, their foam coolers full of prized fish with striped tails.

On streets above the docks, Brazil flags fluttered from an armada of motorcycles. The most deft or careless of the bikers steered with one hand and held an open umbrella in the other. Shops sold soccer balls, hats, plastic trumpets and jerseys of Neymar, the young Brazilian star forward. Even a kitten wore a necklace in Brazil’s colors, yellow and green.

Some men wore jerseys of the big Brazilian club teams — Flamengo and Vasco da Gama — allegiances built in the 1950s and 1960s, when the only radio signal that reached Maués came from Rio, more than 1,600 miles away.

A few teenagers were spotted wearing their own versions of Neymar’s distinct Mohawk mullet, which he sometimes dyes blond.

Neymar scored twice in Brazil’s opener against Croatia, but Pereira da Silva was not certain that Neymar was ready for the World Cup.

“He needs more experience; he needs to fight a little more,” he said. “He’s only interested in his gold hair. That’s the story of footballers today. They want to be good-looking.”

He carried a large sack of clothes to give to the chief of Monte Salém or trade for seeds to make necklaces and bracelets. He was to meet his mother and father in Maués and then travel together to the family’s ancestral village. At least that was the plan. Now there was a problem. The generator in Monte Salém was broken.

“Argentina,” Pereira da Silva said wryly, finding a convenient scapegoat. “Argentina breaks everything.”

After a breakfast of soup and hot sauce, he found another village with a working generator. It was called Nova Belo Horizonte. The trip would take 75 minutes by power boat from Maués. In midafternoon Monday, the equatorial heat was stifling, but Pereira da Silva’s parents yelled, “Waku sese” as the boat reached the village. Everything is really good.

Nova Belo Horizonte is home to 22 families, most of them living in wooden houses with thatched roofs. A rudimentary soccer field, with wood goal posts and no nets, has been cleared of stones and tamped flat amid the surrounding groves of guaraná, pineapples, oranges, bananas, peppers and the staple root called manioc.

For the first time, men’s and women’s teams from the village are participating in an area tournament of Brazil’s Indigenous Games. An important men’s match is scheduled for Sunday. The winner of the tournament will receive $1,500, which could readily be used in a village that, like other indigenous communities, has tried to protect traditional lands from encroaching development and perceived government indifference.

Health care is distant and inadequate, village elders said. There is no radio contact with the hub Maués, four or five hours away on the most common type of boat. Cellphones do not work.

The front steps of the school have crumbled, and the ceiling leaks. Classes for older students in Nova Belo Horizonte cannot be held at night during the World Cup, villagers said, because area government officials seem to be on holiday. Only a portion of the diesel needed to fuel the community generator had been provided.

“They only want our votes,” said Pereira da Silva’s father, Luiz Sateré, 56, a community coordinator for the Sateré-Mawé. “It’s the only thing that matters.

Sateré-Mawé Indians playing soccer in the Nova Belo Horizonte village. Credit Mauricio Lima for The New York Times

Yet even if spending on World Cup stadiums seemed wasteful in a country with so many needs, it was important that the tournament returned to Brazil for the first time since 1950, said Reginaldo da Silva Andrade, 27, the chief of Nova Belo Horizonte.

“Brazilian people are the ones who love and watch the game the most in the world,” da Silva Andrade said.

IN NOVA BELO HORIZONTE, soccer serves many purposes: fun, fitness, conflict avoidance and a diversion from alcohol and drugs. It also provides a chance to socialize with other river villages. Teams travel by boat, and tournaments are often accompanied by festivals.

More important than the money available in the Indigenous Games, da Silva Andrade said, is a chance to “show people on the outside that we are capable of doing this.” He added: “We are realizing our dreams. People think we can’t play. We’ve got to show them.”

On Tuesday, when Brazil played Mexico, all classes were canceled in Nova Belo Horizonte. It will be the same every time Brazil plays. At sunrise, women in the village began hauling water from the well, carrying buckets on their heads. Soon, children kicked around a soccer ball. Some stood in the goal wearing flip-flops on their hands to cushion the heaviness of the shots.

Two small boys played with a ball made from plastic bags, paper and a sleeveless T-shirt. One kicked the ball past the other and yelled, “Goooooooal!” The generator rumbled on to test the television at the chief’s home. The TV kept going on and off.

It is a widely repeated story that soccer came to Brazil in the late 1890s when a man named Charles Miller returned from schooling in England with two balls in his suitcase.

But Pareci Indians earlier made balls from the latex of rubber trees and played a game called zicunati, which permitted only heading, according to “Futebol: The Brazilian Way of Life,” a book by the British writer Alex Bellos.

An Indian nicknamed Indio helped Brazil qualify for the 1958 World Cup, the tournament that introduced Pelé to the world, Bellos wrote. In the late 1990s, José Sátiro do Nascimento, a defender who sometimes used coconuts for balls as a boy, became the first Indian to make one of Brazil’s top club teams, Corinthians of São Paulo. In 2009, a professional team of indigenous players was formed in the state of Pará.

Among the Sateré-Mawé, female players are welcomed, which is not always the case in the broader macho culture of Latin American soccer. One women’s team in Manaus, the capital of Amazonas state, carries the name of the initiation ritual in which boys in the tribe become men after being repeatedly stung by venomous ants.

When Brazil played Croatia in the World Cup opener, Janildzes Michiles, 28, said, she took written notes, concentrating on the defensive work of the mop-haired star David Luiz.

“It is a way to show women can do the same as men,” Michiles said.

On Monday night, while the generator in Nova Belo Horizonte ran for a couple of hours, Michiles watched the United States defeat Ghana, 2-1. Ghana seemed to play better, applying more consistent pressure, she said.

“The Americans ran hard for the ball, but they have to get faster,” she said. “They looked slow.”

Sateré-Mawé Indians in the Nova Belo Horizonte village watch the Brazil-Mexico match.Credit Mauricio Lima for The New York Times

EARLY TUESDAY AFTERNOON, Nova Belo Horizonte hosted men and women from a nearby village, Brasileia, for two pickup matches. The visitors traveled in boats decorated with green and yellow streamers and announced their arrival by blowing whistles.

Both the women and the men from Brasileia prevailed by 3-1 scores in wilting heat. After Rariani da Silva Andrade finished the women’s game for the visitors, she lent her right shoe to her husband, Isaías Oliveira Gomes, whose left foot remained bare.

“He has an injured toe,” she explained.

Friendly defeat for Nova Belo Horizonte did not dampen enthusiasm for Brazil’s World Cup match against Mexico. Some villagers watched from their own homes. About 20 spectators gathered in the outdoor kitchen of the community chief. A few wore festive crowns made from palm fronds. Chicken stew and a crunchy flour called farinha were prepared. Eleven minutes into the match, the television clicked on.

“We will watch and learn,” said da Silva Andrade, the village chief.

Neymar soon threatened with a header, but Guillermo Ochoa, Mexico’s goalkeeper, dived and pushed the shot wide. At halftime, the match remained scoreless.

“I’ll be playing for Brazil in the second half,” da Silva Andrade joked.

When the game started again, Ochoa remained impenetrable. He deflected the ball with his hands and his thigh. His positioning and anticipation and reaction were impeccable. The villagers in Nova Belo Horizonte grew nervous, frustrated.

A pet parrot began to squawk at the anxious voices. One woman held tightly to her lucky beads. Michiles, the women’s player, hid her face behind three palm fronds. In the final minute of regulation, the score remained 0-0. Then the television went out.

It came back on briefly, then failed again as the game extended into three minutes of added time.

“The TV is angry with Brazil,” joked Pereira da Silva, the village chief and guide from Manaus.

Again and again, the screen flickered on, then went blank.

“The TV is scared,” said another villager, Geovani Miranda, laughing.

The screen went dark another time. When the picture returned, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Brazil’s coach, was giving a postgame interview. For a few seconds, there was confusion in Nova Belo Horizonte. Then came confirmation. The final score was 0-0 on an afternoon of intrigue and missed opportunity.

When Pelé appeared on the screen to give his analysis, the TV again went off. It was just as well.

“I don’t want to hear any apologies; I don’t want to hear how it would be different if Pelé was playing,” Pereira da Silva said, the humor gone from his voice. “Even the TV doesn’t want to hear him.”

It could have been worse. At least Brazil had not lost. In Nova Belo Horizonte, the home team remained favored to win the World Cup.

“Brazil is a fighter,” said Luiz Sateré, Pereira da Silva’s father, who wore a Neymar jersey. “Brazil is a warrior.”

Hunt for the Amazonian Olympian (Daily Mail)

Brazil talent scouts search jungle tribes for the archers and kayakers who could win gold at Rio 2016

  • Brazil talent scouts search the Amazon rainforest for talented youngsters
  • The indigenous Indians, born in the heart of the jungle, are believed to possess traditional bow and arrow skills in their blood
  • They can hunt and kill birds flying 100m high and can spear fish in the river
  • They are being put forward for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro
  • Scouts are also searching for skilled kayakers and canoeists


PUBLISHED: 18:07 GMT, 5 October 2013 | UPDATED: 12:41 GMT, 6 October 2013

He stands poised in a boat in the rainforest – his gaze straight, cheeks painted red and arrow sharp and drawn back.

Still of school age, this Amazonian boy could be the next gold medalist in archery at the 2016 Olympic Games.

Talent scouts search tribes for youngsters born in the heart of the jungle, whom they believe possess traditional bow and arrow skills in their blood, it has been revealed.

Scroll down for video

huntHunt: Brazilian talent scouts search tribes for youngsters born in the heart of the jungle, who possess traditional bow and arrow skills in their blood, it has been revealed 

Talented: Many of the youngsters can already hunt and kill birds flying 100 metres high in the air and can spear fish in the local river with just one hitTalented: Many of the youngsters can already hunt and kill birds flying 100 metres high in the air and can spear fish in the local river with just one hit 

Aim: A young Indian girl gazes straight ahead as she draws back an arrow, ready to shoot Aim: A young Indian girl gazes straight ahead as she draws back an arrow, ready to shoot

Future champion? This Amazonian boy could be a future gold medalist in archeryFuture champion? This Amazonian boy could one day be a gold medalist in archery

They hunt talented children from indigenous Indian tribes – many whom can already hunt and kill birds flying 100 metres high in the air and can spear fish in the river with just one hit.

They believe the youngsters have the potential to become successful competitors in archery in the Rio de Janeiro games.

The Brazilian scouts also explore the world’s largest rainforest – home to about 400 Indian tribes – for skilled kayakers and canoeists.

‘I find archers with innate ability,’ said Marcia Lot, an Olympic selector from the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS), who has been combining the jungle for talent since February.

Brazil TV film Amazonian indians trying out for Olympic squad

The children, who belong to tribes in the world's largest rainforest, have the potential to become successful competitors in archery in the Rio de Janeiro gamesPotential: The children, who belong to tribes in the world’s largest rainforest, have the potential to become successful competitors in archery in the Rio de Janeiro games


Hereditary: Traditional archery skills are believed to have been passed down from generation to generation

‘This strong tradition has been handed down from generation to generation and passed from parents to children.

‘Now, the indigenous youngsters are interested in using their skills to change their life.’

Ms Lot’s hunt has taken her to eight tribal communities with different ethnic groups, including the Xingu, Kambeba and Aldeia Kuana tribes.

More than 80 candidates were initially chosen – all of whom were believed to possess ‘natural’ bow and arrow skills.

After a series of qualifying tournaments held by the Amazonian Federation of Archery (FATARCO) in June, the numbers were whittled down to the top 10.

Further trials are set to take place this month, with selectors choosing their final top three.

They will then continue with advanced training, before being put forward for the Olympics.

Practice: Ms Lot's hunt has taken her to eight tribal communities with different ethnic groups, including the Xingu, Kambeba and Aldeia Kuana tribesPractice: Ms Lot’s hunt has taken her to eight tribal communities with different ethnic groups, including the Xingu, Kambeba and Aldeia Kuana tribes

Ready, aim, shoot: Three youngsters line up and prepare to shoot their arrows at a distant targetReady, aim, shoot: Three youngsters line up and prepare to shoot their arrows at a distant target

‘We plan to take the three official members to the National Athletic Championship – held in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, from November 10 to 17, to feel the atmosphere of the competition and to start preparing them for the 2016 Olympics,’ said Ms Lot.

To find elite Olympic material, the FAS has concentrated its efforts on teenagers born in the heart of the rainforest who it believes have both archery skills and the discipline needed to become a professional in the sport.

‘They can hunt and hit a macaw flying 100 metres up in the air and spear a fish in the river,’ said FAS chief executive Virgilio Viana.

‘The challenge for us now is to mix this traditional wisdom which is in their blood with the cutting edge technology of the Olympic sports.’

Roberval Fernando dos Santos, FATARCO’s Brazilian archery coach, added: ‘We are selecting young people with discipline, character, stable family backgrounds and emotional structure.’

Contest: More than 80 candidates were initially chosen for the Olympic Games - all of whom were believed to possess 'natural' bow and arrow skills

Contest: More than 80 candidates were initially chosen for the Olympic Games – all of whom were believed to possess ‘natural’ bow and arrow skills

Trials: Further contests are set to take place this month, with selectors choosing their final top three. The youngsters will then continue with advanced training, before being put forward for the Olympics

Trials: Further contests are set to take place this month, with selectors choosing their final top three. The youngsters will then continue with advanced training, before being put forward for the Olympics

Dedicated: The 10 fledgling athletes have moved from their villages in the jungle to live for a few weeks in the Olympic Village in Manaus, the capital of AmazonasDedicated: The 10 fledgling athletes have moved from their villages in the jungle to live for a few weeks in the Olympic Village in Manaus, the capital of Amazonas

The 10 fledgling athletes have moved from their villages in the jungle to live for a few weeks in the Olympic Village in Manaus, the capital of Amazonas.

There, they are undergoing intensive technique training with dos Santos.

‘Professional archery is very different from what they are accustomed to practising on a daily basis, he said. ‘They have had to learn posture, coordination, alignment and anchoring, as well as the release and follow-through of the arrow.

‘They have built up their strength and concentration – and because of their inherent abilities, they have accelerated through the training and we are seeing their talents emerge.’

One of the 10 trainees is Jardel Cruz Gomes, 16, from the Kambeba tribe in the Cuieras region near the Rio Negro.

His very first toy was a bow and arrow, and he is currently the 2013 champion of archery at the 6th edition of the Indigenous Games.

‘I hope I’m one of the three selected,’ he said. ‘I would love to bring a medal home. Not just for me but for my whole community.’

Water sports: The scouts say their next step in 2014 is to find talented canoeing and kayaking champions - with natives using the numerous waterways coursing through the jungle as their highwaysWater sports: The scouts say their next step in 2014 is to find talented canoeing and kayaking champions – with natives using the numerous waterways coursing through the jungle as their highways

For indigenous Indian families, the training project is being seen as an important step.

‘Formerly, the indigenous peoples were forgotten. Not today. We are being looked at more closely and valued for what we have to offer,’ said Mr Gomes’s father.

Traditionally used as a weapon of war, the bow and arrow is now used for hunting, fishing and rituals by indigenous tribes.

It has also become a sport, played between villages and in the annual Indigenous Games.

Most of the Brazilian Indian tribes make the bow from the stem of a palm tree called Tucum, which is dark in colour and found very close to the river.

The arrow is made from a kind of bamboo or bamboo thicket called Caninha. Tips are formed with the wood of the arrow or some natives use bones and the teeth of animals.

Olympic selectors are planning more scouting trips to tap into the natural skills of the country’s Indian tribes.

They say their next step in 2014 is to find talented canoeing and kayaking champions – with natives using the numerous waterways coursing through the jungle as their highways.

Read more: 

AP Interview: Brazil Sports Minister complained to FIFA about high World Cup ticket prices (Washington Post)

(Bebeto Matthews/ Associated Press ) – Aldo Rebelo, Brazil’s minister of sport, speaks during an interview Tuesday, June 4, 2013, in New York. Rebelo complained to FIFA about high prices contemplated for next year’s World Cup, and said soccer’s governing body will give 50,000 free tickets to poor communities and make half-price seats available to the elderly and students.

By Associated Press, Published: June 4

NEW YORK — Brazil’s Minister of Sport complained to FIFA about high prices contemplated for next year’s World Cup, and said soccer’s governing body will give 50,000 free tickets to poor communities and make half-price seats available to the elderly and students.

FIFA said last week it will announce prices on July 1 for the 2014 tournament and ticket sales will start Aug. 20. For the 2010 World Cup, prices were announced in November 2007 and sales started in February 2009.

Non-premium prices for the 2010 tournament in South Africa ranged from $70-$450 for the opener and $20-$160 for other first-round matches, and escalated to $150-$900 for the final.

During an interview Thursday at The Associated Press, Aldo Rebelo said prices for the tournament in Brazil, to be played from June 12-July 14, became an issue.

“I spoke with FIFA representatives, stating that this was unacceptable, that the prices were so high,” he said through a translator. “This is really a celebration of the people of Brazil. Soccer is very important for the whole population in Brazil. So I mentioned to FIFA representatives, how about that part of the population that cannot afford those expensive tickets?”

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook estimates Brazil’s per capita income at $12,000 last July 1, ranked 106th among nations. Qatar, the 2022 World Cup host, is first at $102,800 and the United States is 15th at $49,800.

“FIFA has donated 50,000 tickets to these poor communities and Indigenous communities,” Rebelo said. “And also we have 50 percent discount for the elderly population and for students.”

For the Confederations Cup, an eight-nation warm-up tournament this month, FIFA is making available half-price tickets to Brazilian residents who are either students, 60 or older by June 30 or in the Bolsa Família government assistance program.

Brazil is spending an estimated $3.5 billion on stadium construction and renovation for the World Cup, and Rio de Janeiro also is getting ready to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. Among the construction projects are new highways, avenues and mass transit.

“The infrastructure investments are really geared toward all communities. The investments were already planned for before or regardless of the World Cup and the Olympics,” Rebelo said. “The whole population will benefit from these improvements in infrastructure.”

Estadio Olímpico Joao Havelange, built in Rio for the 2007 Pan American Games, will host track and field during the 2016 Olympics. City councilmen introduced legislation last month to change the stadium name to Joao Saldanha, Brazil’s coach during qualifying for the 1970 World Cup, after a FIFA ethics report concluded Havelange accepted bribes in a World Cup kickback scandal in the 1990s. Havelange resigned as an IOC member in 2011 and quit this year as FIFA’s honorary president.

“Havelange was a name that was very important and very well received not only within soccer but within the sports industry as a whole,” Rebelo said. “After investigations, he no longer occupies any positions within FIFA or within the International Olympic Committee. However, the mistakes committed by Joao Havelange do not really delete any of the benefits that he brought either to FIFA or to the International Olympic Committee.”

Rebelo said the stadium construction for the World Cup — six venues will be new and the other six renovated — can’t be compared with the venues erected for World Cups in South Korea in 2002 or in South Africa, many of which are underutilized.

“In the ‘70s, Brazil built a lot of big stadiums and these stadiums were geared only toward soccer, nothing else. But these stadiums nowadays are completely different,” he said, predicting they will be used for “conferences, musical shows, restaurants, also trade shows.”

“This,” he said, “will allow the possibility for these stadiums to have some income, because these spaces will be rented for a high rate.”

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

When data prediction is a game, the experts lose out (New Scientist)

Specialist Knowledge Is Useless and Unhelpful

By |Posted Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, at 7:45 AM ET

 Airplanes at an airport.Airplanes at an airport. iStockphoto/Thinkstock.

Jeremy Howard founded email company FastMail and the Optimal Decisions Group, which helps insurance companies set premiums. He is now president and chief scientist of Kaggle, which has turned data prediction into sport.

Peter Aldhous: Kaggle has been described as “an online marketplace for brains.” Tell me about it.
Jeremy Howard: It’s a website that hosts competitions for data prediction. We’ve run a whole bunch of amazing competitions. One asked competitors to develop algorithms to mark students’ essays. One that finished recently challenged competitors to develop a gesture-learning system for the Microsoft Kinect. The idea was to show the controller a gesture just once, and the algorithm would recognize it in future. Another competition predicted the biological properties of small molecules being screened as potential drugs.

PA: How exactly do these competitions work?
JH: They rely on techniques like data mining and machine learning to predict future trends from current data. Companies, governments, and researchers present data sets and problems, and offer prize money for the best solutions. Anyone can enter: We have nearly 64,000 registered users. We’ve discovered that creative-data scientists can solve problems in every field better than experts in those fields can.

PA: These competitions deal with very specialized subjects. Do experts enter?
JH: Oh yes. Every time a new competition comes out, the experts say: “We’ve built a whole industry around this. We know the answers.” And after a couple of weeks, they get blown out of the water.

PA: So who does well in the competitions?
JH: People who can just see what the data is actually telling them without being distracted by industry assumptions or specialist knowledge. Jason Tigg, who runs a pretty big hedge fund in London, has done well again and again. So has Xavier Conort, who runs a predictive analytics consultancy in Singapore.

PA: You were once on the leader board yourself. How did you get involved?
JH: It was a long and strange path. I majored in philosophy in Australia, worked in management consultancy for eight years, and then in 1999 I founded two start-ups—one an email company, the other helping insurers optimize risks and profits. By 2010, I had sold them both. I started learning Chinese and building amplifiers and speakers because I hadn’t made anything with my hands. I travelled. But it wasn’t intellectually challenging enough. Then, at a meeting of statistics users in Melbourne, somebody told me about Kaggle. I thought: “That looks intimidating and really interesting.”

PA: How did your first competition go?
JH: Setting my expectations low, my goal was to not come last. But I actually won it. It was on forecasting tourist arrivals and departures at different destinations. By the time I went to the next statistics meeting I had won two out of the three competitions I entered. Anthony Goldbloom, the founder of Kaggle, was there. He said: “You’re not Jeremy Howard, are you? We’ve never had anybody win two out of three competitions before.”

PA: How did you become Kaggle’s chief scientist?
JH: I offered to become an angel investor. But I just couldn’t keep my hands off the business. I told Anthony that the site was running slowly and rewrote all the code from scratch. Then Anthony and I spent three months in America last year, trying to raise money. That was where things got really serious, because we raised $11 million. I had to move to San Francisco and commit to doing this full-time.

PA: Do you still compete?
JH: I am allowed to compete, but I can’t win prizes. In practice, I’ve been too busy.

PA: What explains Kaggle’s success in solving problems in predictive analytics?
JH: The competitive aspect is important. The more people who take part in these competitions, the better they get at predictive modeling. There is no other place in the world I’m aware of, outside professional sport, where you get such raw, harsh, unfettered feedback about how well you’re doing. It’s clear what’s working and what’s not. It’s a kind of evolutionary process, accelerating the survival of the fittest, and we’re watching it happen right in front of us. More and more, our top competitors are also teaming up with each other.

PA: Which statistical methods work best?
JH: One that crops up again and again is called the random forest. This takes multiple small random samples of the data and makes a “decision tree” for each one, which branches according to the questions asked about the data. Each tree, by itself, has little predictive power. But take an “average” of all of them and you end up with a powerful model. It’s a totally black-box, brainless approach. You don’t have to think—it just works.

PA: What separates the winners from the also-rans?
JH: The difference between the good participants and the bad is the information they feed to the algorithms. You have to decide what to abstract from the data. Winners of Kaggle competitions tend to be curious and creative people. They come up with a dozen totally new ways to think about the problem. The nice thing about algorithms like the random forest is that you can chuck as many crazy ideas at them as you like, and the algorithms figure out which ones work.

PA: That sounds very different from the traditional approach to building predictive models. How have experts reacted?
JH: The messages are uncomfortable for a lot of people. It’s controversial because we’re telling them: “Your decades of specialist knowledge are not only useless, they’re actually unhelpful; your sophisticated techniques are worse than generic methods.” It’s difficult for people who are used to that old type of science. They spend so much time discussing whether an idea makes sense. They check the visualizations and noodle over it. That is all actively unhelpful.

PA: Is there any role for expert knowledge?
JH: Some kinds of experts are required early on, for when you’re trying to work out what problem you’re trying to solve. The expertise you need is strategy expertise in answering these questions.

PA: Can you see any downsides to the data-driven, black-box approach that dominates on Kaggle?
JH: Some people take the view that you don’t end up with a richer understanding of the problem. But that’s just not true: The algorithms tell you what’s important and what’s not. You might ask why those things are important, but I think that’s less interesting. You end up with a predictive model that works. There’s not too much to argue about there.

Ouro suburbano (OESP)

À margem, o subúrbio é mais propício à criatividade, gerando no seu hibridismo desde os Mamonas ao medalhista olímpico

12 de agosto de 2012

José de Souza Martins

O ouro de Arthur Zanetti em Londres põe em evidência o subúrbio de que é originário e onde vive: nasceu em São Caetano, ali treina num clube comunitário, apoiado pela prefeitura, e mora em São Bernardo. Ninguém diria que por meio daquele atleta suburbano o País obteria nesta Olimpíada uma de suas escassas medalhas de ouro. Porque o subúrbio é o lugar de trabalhar e não o de brilhar, lugar da produção e não da ostentação.

Ao lado dos pais, Arthur Zanetti, do subúrbio para o ouro olímpico nas argolas - Nacho Doce/REUTERS

Nacho Doce/REUTERS. Ao lado dos pais, Arthur Zanetti, do subúrbio para o ouro olímpico nas argolas

Na metrópole paulistana, o subúrbio é um contraponto histórico em relação ao centro. Não é periferia, palavra do vocabulário político-ideológico que grita muito e diz pouco. Até porque, hoje, a periferia está no centro, na multidão de seus desamparados. Nos últimos 40 anos esse subúrbio ampliado vem protagonizando significativas mudanças políticas. Lula e Serra cresceram quase que à vista um do outro: Lula na Vila Carioca e Serra do outro lado do Rio Tamanduateí, na Mooca.

Em posições opostas, estão no centro do processo político brasileiro atual. O subúrbio também é lugar de sutil protagonismo nas mudanças sociais e culturais. Arthur Zanetti é filho da emergência tardia do Brasil do trabalho fabril, cujo eixo de referência é o oposto do eixo representado pelo centro da metrópole.A ética do subúrbio é a do trabalho; a do centro é a do consumo. O subúrbio tem uma cultura própria, que se manifesta no modo diferente de ser e de pensar dos moradores. De certo modo, essa cultura é produto e extensão dos hábitos da fábrica. Mas é também uma contracultura fundada na herança rural de sua população de imigrantes e de migrantes, que é uma cultura familista e comunitária e, não raro, religiosa.

Gente que há gerações veio para o trabalho das fábricas, mas que não renunciou aos valores da aldeia ou do sertão. Dessa duplicidade surgiu uma cultura híbrida, popular e identitária, conservadora, em que são socializadas as novas gerações. Isso pode ser observado tanto em Zanetti, em cujo êxito se destaca a família, quanto em casos como o do artista plástico João Suzuki, que veio do interior, mas viveu e ganhou fama em Santo André. Ou o do escultor Luiz Sacilotto, de Santo André, que faleceu em São Bernardo. Por estar à margem, o subúrbio é menos regulamentado e mais propício à criatividade. A alma japonesa do interiorano Suzuki desabrochou no imaginário oriental de sua pintura.

No subúrbio, as camadas profundas de sua consciência não encontraram travas para se manifestar esteticamente como expressão da duplicidade cultural tão própria dos filhos de imigrantes.A alma operária de Sacilotto, ex-aluno de escola industrial do Brás, ganhou forma em suas esculturas, artesania de oficina que se insurge para libertar o belo da retidão da linha de produção. Na medalha olímpica, Arthur e Arquimedes são um só. Filho atleta e pai serralheiro (e mãe esportista) se constroem reciprocamente: o pai, autônomo, faz os aparelhos dos ginastas, segundo a lógica das oficinas de fundo de quintal, contraponto poético da grande indústria, idílio de tantos operários suburbanos.

O mundo operário é um mundo em que as pessoas se completam, diverso do mundo do centro,em que as pessoas se repelem. Mãe, pai e filhos são um todo da concepção comunitária da vida. O subúrbio deu vida, também, a uma musicalidade popular que expressa peculiar rebeldia anticonvencional. Em Osasco e no ABC, a impensável ressurreição urbana do folclore rural das folias de reis, das folias do divino, do samba-lenço de Mauá e mesmo da Missa Caipira, de Marino Cafundó, celebrada no dia de Santo Antônio, em Osasco. O som da viola como memória. Resistência à música mercadoria sem sonho nem vida.

Emblemático foi o surgimento dos Mamonas Assassinas,em1995,em Guarulhos, grupo que morreu num acidente aéreo em 1996. Num desabafo, em janeiro de 1996, no Ginásio de Guarulhos lotado, onde haviam sido proibidos de se apresentar tempos antes, porque considerados ninguém, Dinho antecipava Barack Obama: “É possível, sim! Você pode, cara!” A música híbrida da banda juntou o rock e o sertanejo, retornou à ironia crítica e conservadora da música sertaneja de Cornélio Pires, nos anos 1920. Transformou o deboche e o falar errado numa linguagem. Como Lula, que agregou uma gestualidade de fábrica ao falar errado e criou uma nova linguagem política no Brasil, difícil de copiar justamente porque errada e não convencional. O Brasil pós-moderno e conservador está lentamente nascendo desses hibridismos insurgentes, dessas teimosias que ganham seu espaço no subúrbio.


No campo acadêmico, o futebol é titular (Faperj)

Elena Mandarim

Livro mostra as mudanças por que vêm passando as paixões dos torcedores brasileirosDivulgação /

Desde que chegou ao país, o futebol passou por um processo de incorporação cultural até se constituir na chamada “paixão nacional”. Durante o Campeonato Brasileiro de Futebol, que é o principal torneio nacional entre clubes, organizado oficialmente desde 1971 pela Confederação Brasileira de Futebol (CBF), milhares de torcedores espalhados comemoram as vitórias e choram as derrotas de seus times. Basta observar a popularidade do Brasileirão, como é conhecido e que este ano começou no dia 19 de maio, para perceber que, atualmente, torcer pelos times locais se tornou mais importante do que torcer pela própria seleção. Esta é uma das reflexões trazidas no livro Futebol, Jornalismo e Ciências Sociais: interações, organizado por Ronaldo Helal, Hugo Lovisolo e Antonio Jorge Golçalves Soares, todos professores da Faculdade de Comunicação da Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Uerj) e publicado com recursos do programa de Apoio à Editoração (APQ 3), da FAPERJ. Para aqueles que quiserem entender melhor como essa “paixão nacional” interage com questões significativas para a sociedade, o livro conta ainda como se deu o processo de construção da narrativa do “futebol arte”, o estilo único do brasileiro jogar. Outras análises também são abordadas, como a mudança do olhar da imprensa esportiva da Argentina em relação ao Brasil e a maneira de se criar alguns simbolismos e heróis do futebol brasileiro.

O termo “País do futebol” foi uma construção social realizada, a partir dos anos 1930, dentro do projeto nacionalista do Estado Novo – época em que o Brasil buscava consolidar sua identidade nacional. Contudo, Helal explica que, com o processo de globalização e comercialização do futebol, o jogador se internacionaliza e não só veste a camisa de seu país como também pode representar outras nações. “O Kaká, por exemplo, é ídolo não apenas dos brasileiros, mas também de italianos e espanhóis. Por isso, observamos que, atualmente, os torcedores brasileiros se envolvem mais com seus times locais, nos quais encontram seus heróis nacionais, aqueles que vestem a camisa do clube”, acredita o sociólogo.

É evidente que a Copa do Mundo ainda tem uma estrutura que estimula os nacionalismos. Não é por acaso que, de quatro em quatro anos, o significado “Brasil: País do futebol” ganha uma dimensão mais intensa. Mas uma análise jornalística, mostrada no livro, evidencia que o próprio noticiário já não trata o futebol como sinônimo de nação. “Observa-se, por exemplo, que, a derrota na final para o Uruguai, em 1950, e a conquista do tricampeonato, em 1970, foram sentidas como derrota e vitória, respectivamente, de projetos da nação brasileira. Já as vitórias em 1994 e 2002 e a derrota na final para a França, em 1998, foram comemoradas e sofridas como vitórias e derrotas da seleção, não transcenderam o terreno esportivo”, exemplifica Helal.

Do atraso para a peculiaridade

Outro artigo do livro explica como a miscigenação do brasileiro, antes considerada como motivo do atraso do país, passou a ser o ingrediente básico para formação de grandes jogadores de futebol. “Tudo começou com a obra clássica do sociólogo Gilberto Freyre, Casa Grande e Senzala, que pela primeira vez mostra o valor positivo da mistura de raças, que traz peculiaridades e força à população brasileira”, conta Helal.

Logo depois de Freyre, Mario Filho, um dos fundadores do jornalismo esportivo no Brasil, lançou O Negro no Futebol Brasileiro, em que a junção do futebol com a nação miscigenada se torna mais evidente, ajudando a consolidar uma identidade nacional. Gilberto Freyre, por sua vez, escreveu em sua coluna no Diário de Pernambuco, do dia 18 de junho de 1938, o artigo “Foot-ball Mulato, que se tornou fundamental para a simbologia do futebol. “Ali, ele louva a miscigenação racial e afirma que ela funda certo estilo de jogo que seria típico do Brasil – uma ‘dança vibrante e gingada’, o que tempos depois se convencionou chamar de ‘futebol arte’”, exemplifica Helal.

Outro aspecto interessante levantado pelo livro é a mudança de postura da imprensa argentina em relação ao futebol brasileiro. Helal explica que, no início do século XIX, o grande adversário do Brasil era o Uruguai, grande potência futebolística na época. “Nessa ocasião, os hermanos argentinos torciam para o Brasil. Quando a Argentina começou a despontar como nossa grande adversária, a imprensa e a publicidade brasileiras começaram a provocar os argentinos. Só recentemente eles passaram a revidar nossas provocações”, relata Helal, que analisou este ponto em seu pós-doutorado, realizado em Buenos Aires.

Os estudos acadêmicos sobre o futebol vêm crescendo e se consolidando nas últimas duas décadas. Na Faculdade de Comunicação Social da Uerj, Ronaldo Helal e Hugo Lovisolo organizaram o grupo de pesquisa “Esporte e Cultura”, cadastrado no CNPq desde 1998. Nas cerca de 200 páginas de Futebol, Jornalismo e Ciências Sociais: interações”, os leitores ainda encontrarão, entre outros assuntos, uma revisão geral da literatura sobre o tema; um estudo sobre a construção de alguns simbolismos e heróis do futebol brasileiro; uma análise jornalística sobre a reconstrução da memória da partida entre Brasil e Uruguai na final da Copa do Mundo de 1950; uma comparação sobre as figuras públicas de Pelé e Maradona; e uma investigação etnográfica em bares onde são transmitidas partidas de futebol. Por tudo isso, o livro é uma obra interessante tanto para estudiosos do assunto como para amantes do futebol.