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Ricardo Brancal and Manuel Ramos compete for Portugal seat in Beijing 2022



Ricardo Brancal and Manuel Ramos compete for Portugal seat in Beijing 2022

Coviglian It is a town of just over 30,000 and is very close to Serra da Estrela, a well-known destination for winter sports among the Portuguese, including alpine skiing. It was in this modality that Portugal debuted at the 1952 Oslo Winter Games with Duarte Espiritu Santo.

Seven decades later, Portugal already has two guaranteed spots for the 2022 Beijing Olympics in alpine skiing, one for each gender. Among women, Vanina Guerillo is going to represent the country. Among the men Ricardo Brancal e Manuel Ramos continue to fight for a place. Both from Covigliana, despite their age difference, have the same background in the sport, which goes back to the ridge near where they were born.

Just over 20 days left Winter tells the story of Manuel and Ricardo in sports and their search for a place in Beijing.

Portuguese Manuel Ramos in action.

Manuel Ramos: “Only my work is in my hands”

“I started skiing in Andorra during a family vacation and regularly skiing with my father at the Serra da Estrela station. It gave me a taste for skiing, ”recalls Manuel Ramos of how he got started and how the place influenced him to keep up. with sports.

This onset was very early, at the age of three. At the age of seven, something curious happened: quite by accident, he took part in a race that also accidentally became the Portuguese championship. It was at the beginning of the year. A few months later, they contacted their father and invited him again to take part in the same competition, since he was the champion of the country. It was then that Manuel realized that he could take sports more seriously. This was the beginning of the Olympic project.

He began to train hard, added podiums and achievements. He gained experience by running three to four races a year outside Portugal. “From an early age, the Olympic Games were the main goal,” recalls Manuel, who remembers watching Sochi 2014. Now 19 years old, he competed in the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics in Lausanne and won 10 national titles. slalom.

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He coordinates training and competition with the university. He studies management in Lisbon at ISCTE (Instituto Superior de Ciências do Trabalho e da Empresa). The 2021/2022 season started off well in giant slalom with less than 160 FIS (French Ski Federation) points in five events. Not very good in slalom, but it got better. Overall, he stresses: “I am good at skiing, I manage to put into practice a very stable level of training.”

However, the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the training of many athletes both in the 2020/2021 season and in the current one. In Manuel’s case, he tested positive for the virus shortly after Christmas when he returned from the Montenegrin national championship in Kolasin. “I had to be in Andorra right now to train, but I tested positive for Covid. I had some tests before the deadline (the qualifiers for the Games will be announced on January 16), but now everything is confused, I need to see how everything goes, I’m in quarantine. I need to adapt the calendar, ”he added. Since then, he has no longer competed.

Despite the setback, Manuel knows there is still a lot to be done and, finally, to make his Olympic dream come true. After all, skiing for him is life. He wants to enjoy the sport and contribute to its development in Portugal. He demonstrates maturity, experience and for this he counts on youth in his favor. He knows where he wants to go: “Only my work is in my hands.”

Sooner or later, Manuel depends only on himself and time is on his side.

Ricardo Brancal: “Representing Portugal means everything”

At 25, another Covigliana native, Ricardo Brancal, is a strong candidate for a seat in Beijing. He also began skiing at the age of three with the help of his father while on vacation with his family in the French Pyrenees. He began training every year, sometimes nearby, in Serra da Estrela, or a little further away, in Spain or France. From the age of fifteen or sixteen, he was already part of a local team in the French town of Lamogues. “I was the only Portuguese there and only trained two weeks a year,” he recalls. At the same time, he was also part of another team in the Sierra Nevada, southern Spain. However, he did not regularly participate in trainings and tournaments, which is required by high competition.

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The scenario has changed since 2018 when it became part of the Portuguese project for Beijing 2022. Since 2020, he has been a member of the Italian team in Alta Badia (South Tyrol), where he moved last October to train and compete more. Winter Olympics. “I had a brutal evolution. I dropped my scores a lot. I managed to increase my pace before the Games, ”said Ricardo after participating in the national championship of Montenegro shortly before Christmas.

Ricardo has an Olympic record and has managed to maintain it since January 2021. “In a short period of time, I had to demonstrate a great evolution,” reflects Brancal, so that he can stay on the Italian team and in the dispute for a place in Beijing. To get to the Games on January 16, you need to be the best at ranging from Portugal and hit the FIS average in the last five slalom and giant slalom events.

Brankal recently competed in the national championships in Cyprus as well as in Montenegro, and last weekend he was in Turnau, Austria, in a slalom competition for which ranking points were awarded. At the end of the year, he stayed away from his family: “This sacrifice is worth it … it always costs a little, I’ve never spent Christmas without my family, but it’s for the common good. Portugal, “the message says.

Now, when asked about representing the country, he immediately replies, “Representing Portugal means everything.” Ricardo wants to participate in the Games, but not only that, he wants to get the best result in the history of the country, repeating a feat similar to that in February 2021 when he finished among the 40 best on the planet at the Cortina d’Ampezzo (Italy) stage Alpine Skiing World Cup.

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Next to him, family and friends are not stingy for support. In addition, he admits that support for Portuguese athletes has grown little by little, and what he wants from it all: “We are a country with little or no snow, but we have athletes. I want to make it clear that any child who wants to participate in the Games can do it, it is not impossible. I didn’t start early at a high level, and if I did, anyone in Portugal can do it too, ”he concludes.

Portuguese Ricardo Brancal from alpine skiing.

Ricardo Brancal is currently the best Portuguese in the alpine skier ranking, ranking 1712th in giant slalom and 3018th in slalom. Manuel Ramos is ranked 2578th in giant slalom and 3309th in slalom.

The list of athletes eligible to compete in the Winter Olympics in alpine skiing will be published on 16 January.

Portuguese for snow and ice

More Portuguese athletes competed in Europe. Diogo Marreiros finished 11th in the mass start of the European speed skating competition held in Heerenveen, the Netherlands. Diogo no longer has a chance to qualify for the Beijing Games.

Still struggling for a spot in Beijing 2022, Christian de Oliveira finished 59th in the Snowboard World Cup Parallel Giant Slalom on Saturday 8th in Scuol, Switzerland. He will have two more competitions – this time in Austria – to make the necessary indicators for qualifying for the Games: on January 11 and 12 in Bad Gastein and on the 14th and 15th of the same month in Simonhöhe.

READ ALSO: Which athletes can represent Brazil and Portugal at the Winter Games.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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