DID YOU KNOW?
JAQUELINE MOURAO’S UNIQUE OLYMPIC JOURNEY
Not many athletes can say that they have competed in both the Summer and Winter Games – and even fewer can say they did it in three different sports.
But that’s exactly what Brazilian athlete Jaqueline Mourao achieved, representing her country in mountain biking, cross-country skiing and biathlon across six editions of the Games.
Her Olympic journey began after a convincing debut in the Brazilian mountain biking championships, which led to an Olympic Solidarity scholarship and the chance to train in Switzerland. By 2003, she had broken into the top 10 of the mountain bike world rankings, earning a place at the Olympic Games Athens 2004, where she became the first woman from her country to compete in mountain biking at the Games. She would compete again on her bike at the Olympic Games Beijing 2008; but before that she also set herself a new challenge: qualifying for the Olympic Winter Games Turin 2006.
Mourao had never skied before, but when a freak snowstorm interrupted her mountain bike training in North America in May 2005, her husband Guido Visser – an Olympic cross-country skier for Canada – suggested she give it a try.
She went on to finish 67th in the women’s 10km in Turin, becoming the first female Brazilian athlete to take part in both the Summer and Winter Games.
After again competing in cross-country skiing at the Olympic Winter Games Vancouver 2010, she added biathlon to her repertoire for Sochi 2014, where she was also chosen as the flagbearer for the Brazilian delegation at the Opening Ceremony.
Her Olympic journey did not end there, however, as – at the age of 42 – Mourao competed in cross-country skiing at PyeongChang 2018, becoming the second woman and sixth Brazilian to have competed in six editions of the Games.
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