By Lisa Flueckiger, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – This Saturday, June 20th, the Festival Esportivo Transforma event in Jacarepaguá will showcase what it is like to be an athlete of one of the 42 Olympic and 23 Paralympic sports, as attendees can try out some of the disciplines with instructions from professional Brazilian athletes.
The event is for both children and adults, who can try sports they might not even have heard about. Some disciplines showed on Saturday are archery, goalball, hockey, basketball in a wheelchair, and the two sports making an Olympic comeback: rugby and golf.
“Through trying the sports, we spread the Olympic and Paralympic values such as friendship, respect and excellence. The Festival is a great opportunity for people to get to know more about the world’s biggest sporting event and become athletes for a day,” Vanderson Berbat, Education Manager at Rio 2016, explained.
The event will take place on Saturday, June 20th at the Vila Olímpica Professor Manoel José Gomes Tubino, in the Mato Alto, from 8AM to 1PM and is free of charge.
Along with the sports trials, Olympic mascots Tom and Vinicius will also attend the event and gymnasts of the Brazilian team will present a show featuring rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline.
The festival is part of the “Transforma” program of Rio 2016, which aims at creating opportunities in Rio’s schools for students to experience the Olympic values. At two previous events in Santa Cruz and Campo Grande around 2,500 people already tried Olympic sports and met Olympic athletes such as beach volleyball player Emanuel Rego and synchronized swimmers Bia and Branca Feres.