Brazil's Mourao switches between summer and winter Olympics   2010-02-16 08:01:20 FeedbackPrintRSS

WHISTLER, Canada, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- Jaqueline Mourao of Brazil finished in 66th place among 78 competitors in the women's 10 km cross-country free skiing Monday in the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Though the result is modest, she has been the first Brazilian woman athlete qualified both for summer and winter Olympics.

Born in 1975 in Brazil's south-eastern city Belo Horizonte, Mourao is the first Brazilian athlete to qualify for two editions of the Summer Olympic Games and two of the Winter Olympic Games.

She is a professional cyclist as well and competed in the mountain bike event in the Athens and Beijing Olympics.

In 2005, she started skiing in Canada after a snow storm prevented her from continuing her cycling training. She competed in cross-country skiing at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin.

After the Beijing Olympics, she decided to dedicate herself full to cross-country skiing with the encouragement of her husband, the Canadian coach and former Olympic skier Guido Visser.

Mourao is a superstitious person. On competition days she always gets out of bed with her right foot first.

Shortly before her departure in women's 10 km cross-country skiing, Mourao told media: "I want to do my best and represent well Brazil and Latin America, since I am the only one of the continent and from a country that has no snow."

Editor: Anne Tang
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