With help from her Olympic Solidarity Scholarship, Brazil’s Isabel Clark Ribeiro is targeting snowboard cross success in Sochi.
Clark Ribeiro placed ninth in the event at the Games in Turin in 2006 but a fall in competition at the Vancouver Games in 2012 left the athlete shaken with her confidence bruised. But that was just a temporary lapse in her “never give up” attitude.
“I had decided that I really wanted to go for another Olympics,” she says. “I worked very hard on my physical training and I am feeling strong now.”
Four years later she is positive and ready to compete in Sochi.
Olympic Solidarity is the body that ensures that athletes with talent have an equal chance of reaching the Games and succeeding in the Olympic arena. It is responsible for administering and managing the National Olympic Committees’ (NOCs’) share of the revenue from the sale of broadcasting rights to the Olympic Games. Working in particular with disadvantaged NOCs and their Continental Associations, Olympic Solidarity uses this money to develop a range of assistance programmes.
The current quadrennial plan, which runs from 2013 to 2016, has a development and assistance budget of USD 438 million – an increase of nearly 40% on the 2009-2012 budget. This is the second time that Winter Games athletes have received Individual Olympic Scholarships following the successful debut of the programme in the build-up to Vancouver in 2010, when 325 athletes (193 men and 132 women) from 60 NOCs benefited from Solidarity funding. Of these, 227 athletes qualified for the Games, winning 13 medals between them.