Athletes from around the world are gearing up for the 2016 Rio Olympics, which are quickly approaching.
Team Great Britain will participate in an Olympic training camp from July 17 to August 16. UK Sport is investing about £1.6 million into this camp, which is located in Belo Horizonte, a 45-minute flight from Rio. Athletes will be exposed to the appropriate time zone and climate for training ahead of the Olympic Games.[i] They will have access to several private facilities, including The British School and the Clube de Regatas do Flamengo (CRF). The British School will give athletes access to a 25m swimming pool, Astroturf, and a multi-use sports hall. The CRF will give them access to rowing and canoeing resources.[ii] The Preparation Camp will comprise the athletes’ final phase of training, and it will be used for hosting warm-up games, getting used to the environment, and resting. This training camp is Great Britain’s largest ever pre-Olympics setup.[iii]
In addition to Team GB, the Kenyan athletes are also developing preparation strategies for the Rio Olympics. For example, Athletics Kenya (AK) is changing its training strategy for marathon runners. It is allowing them to train at their own camps, instead of mandating that they enter a training camp following their selection for the Games. The athletes will instead enter a short camp a few weeks before going to Rio for bonding and speed work.[iv]
Three Greco-Roman wrestling teams are taking a different approach than Kenya by encouraging collaboration among themselves. The Greco-Roman wrestling teams from Azerbaijan, the USA, and Morocco are training together at the Goygol Olympic Sports Complex from June 20 to July 4. After the training, the teams will participate in a test tournament.[v]
The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) also encouraged comradery. It held its first training camp for the more than 90 athletes participating in this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games. The three-day training program included information on anti-doping, health, team-building, and media relations. The camp’s coordinator stated that the camp’s goal is to build team spirit and to ensure that the athletes are prepared for what is expected of them at the Games.[vi]
As the Rio Olympics approach quickly, the examples above illustrate how different countries take differing approaches to preparing their athletes.