BRAZILIAN Olympic teams are training in Sheffield ahead of the London 2012 games – thanks to footballing legend Pele.
The Brazilian Olympic Committee has confirmed its boxing team, as well as its judo squad, will prepare alongside the GB Boxing squad at the English Institute of Sport Sheffield.
Bizarrely, an old letter from Sheffield Council leaders which was hand-delivered by Pele to the Brazilian Government sparked the teams’ visit to Sheffield.
It was given to the world’s greatest footballer in 2007 when he visited the city as part of Sheffield Football Club’s 150th anniversary celebrations.
A growing relationship between Brazil and Sheffield means leaders hope to work together for the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.
Coun Isobel Bowler, Sheffield Council cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure, said: “This is a huge kudos for the city and it is fantastic to welcome the Brazilian boxing team to Sheffield.
“Sheffield is well and truly on the world sporting map.”
Olympic teams from America, Canada, Japan and other countries are also training before the games in Sheffield.
Gustavo Harada, International Games and Operations Manager for the Brazilian Olympic Committee, added: “GB Boxing has probably the world’s best training centre for the sport at Sheffield EIS; fantastic infrastructure, support service and technology.”