Brazil’s first Olympic biathlete trained on sand dunes near Rio

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When you get the opportunity to compete in the Olympics, you do whatever it takes to prepare.

Case in point: Brazil’s Jaqueline Mourao, a five-time Olympian that’s competing in two disciplines in Sochi: Cross-country skiing and biathlon (she’s Brazil’s first Olympian to compete in the latter).

To get herself ready on the skiing side of things, she trains on the sand dunes that surround Rio de Janeiro, site of the next summer Olympics in 2016.

It’s the Olympics. Whatever it takes.

And Mourao insists that the Rio dunes are a perfectly good training ground. From a 2010 Reuters story:

“It’s like skiing minus 40 (kph),” Mourao said. “It’s very slow, the kick is hard and the glide is hard but to learn the movements and to work the arms and the upper body, it’s perfect.”

Mourao is not expected to be a medal contender, but should be commended for her versatility. In addition to cross-country skiing in the last two Winter Olympics, she’s also competed in mountain biking in the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Olympics.

MORE: Team USA’s hunt for elusive biathlon medal continues in Sochi

Now that she’s going into the biathlon, she becomes the second female three-sport Olympian alongside Sheila Taormina of the U.S.

Taormina swam at Atlanta in 1996 (earning a gold as part of the 4×200 meter freestyle relay), competed twice in the triathlon at Sydney (2000) and Athens, and then took part in the modern pentathlon at Beijing.

source: AP
Brazilian cross-country skier and biathlete Jaqueline Mourao. Photo: AP