February 4, 2006 – Jaqueline MourÃ£o has the unique opportunity to represent her country at the upcoming XX Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy, but the Brazilian born cross-country skiier is no stranger to high level competitions, as she’s a seasoned Olympic cyclist as well.
MourÃ£o is the first Brazilian woman ever to qualify for both the Winter and Summer Olympic Games similar to Canada’s Clara Hughes who is the first Canadian and second woman to win medals at both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games. Hughes is on the Speed Skating Canada 2006 Olympic team and will be in Torino for the Games as well.
The announcement of MourÃ£o’s presence as part of the Brazilian ski team in mid-January made the country’s national news and sports station’s top headlines. Canadian coach and husband, Guido Visser responded to questions from Brazilian media from the couple’s residence in the Quebec City region, at Saint-FerrÃ©ol-les-Neiges. Terms once foreign to Brazilian sports media – such as glide wax, kick wax, skate skiing and classic cross-country skiing – are now used with excitement as Brazilians await the XXth Olympiad.
MourÃ£o and Visser moved to Quebec so MourÃ£o could perfect her skiing, a move that has definitely born fruit, as she can now boast that she is the fastest member of the Brazilian Olympic cross country skiing team. Already a star in her country, should MourÃ£o win a medal, her popularity will soar astronomically!
At the upcoming Winter Games, MourÃ£o will be competing against the world’s best including Canada’s Olympic gold medalist Becky Scott. Scott was eventually awarded the gold medal in the pursuit (5K/5K) race at the 2002 Salt Lake Games after both Russian women ahead of her were disqualified for doping infractions. Scott also recently won three World Cup races making her a top contender for a medal in Torino.
Stay tuned for more coverage and cheer them both on!