Viviane Jungblut Misses Brazilian Trials to Support Flood-Ravaged Home State

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Photo Courtesy: Andy Ross

Viviane Jungblut Misses Brazilian Trials to Support Flood-Ravaged Home State

Swimmer Viviane Jungblut is among the high-profile Brazilian athletes taking a step back from their sports to offer support to the flood-ravaged state of Rio Grande do Sul.

Jungblut, as well as lightweight double sculls rowers Evaldo Becker and Piedro Tuchtenhagen, have bowed out of qualification events this week as floodwaters have risen in their region. Olympic surfing champion Italo Ferreira has also returned to his home state to volunteer.


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More than 100 people have been killed in Rio Grande do Sul, the capital of which is Jungblut’s hometown of Porto Alegre. More rain is forecasted as the region continues the rescue and recovery efforts in hopes that the Guaiba river can recede.

“I said, Piedro, I can’t do it anymore,” Becker said in an interview with Reuters. ” … I didn’t even think twice. It was my last chance to get to the Olympics. I was excited. But the flood waters took my dream away just as it took lives.”

Jungblut is out of Brazilian trials this week in Rio de Janeiro. She qualified for the open water race at the Paris Olympics and had said she was going to focus on that instead of the pool. But she has as recently as last fall’s Pan American Games been a global medalist in the pool, taking home bronze medals in the women’s 800 free and 1,500 free. She holds the national record in the 800 free, both long- and short-course.

The 27-year-old swam both the 800 free and 1,500 free at the Tokyo Olympics. Her place in the Brazilian national hierarchy in the pool has been overtaken by a new generation of ascendant distance swimmers.

Jungblut has advocated on behalf of her home state, including with a fundraising campaign to help those affected.

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