Government supports Timor-Leste’s Olympic Team for Rio

Minister of State and of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and

Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste

 Dili, August 4th, 2016

Government supports Timor-Leste’s Olympic Team for Rio

When the Opening Ceremony of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad commences in Brazil the 5th of August, the flag of Timor-Leste will fly boldly in Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã Stadium. The Government is proud to support Timor-Leste’s participation in the games with Francelina Marques Cabral competing in women’s cross country cycling, Nélia Martins in the women’s 1,500 meters and Augusto Ramos Soares in the men’s 1,500 meters event.

During the Opening Ceremony on Friday evening, these three athletes and the small delegation accompanying them will march with the flag of Timor-Leste held high in front of an estimated worldwide viewing audience of one billion people.

Prime Minister H.E. Dr. Rui Maria de Araújo congratulated the team and noted that their participation was going to enhance international awareness of Timor-Leste and presented a unique opportunity to represent the nation amongst other members of the Rio global village. The Government has assisted the athletes by funding their travel to Rio, supporting participation in lead up events and developing better human and physical infrastructure for their sporting codes in Timor-Leste.

Since their arrival in Rio on the 29th of July Timor-Leste’s team has been training and acclimatizing to the local conditions. The athletics events for Nélia Martins and Augusto Ramos Soares will be contested on the 12th and 16th of August and the Cycling Cross Country race for Francelina Marques Cabral on the 20th of August.

The story of Timor-Leste was powerfully brought to worldwide attention when four athletes participated on an individual basis in the 2000 Sydney Games. Timor-Leste has since participated officially in the Summer Games of 2004 in Athens, 2008 in Beijing and 2012 in London. Rio 2016 marks Augusto Ramos Soares’ third Olympics, having previously competed in the marathon events of the 2008 and 2012 games.

Spokesperson for the Sixth Constitutional Government, Minister of State Agio Pereira said “on behalf of the Government we congratulate the Olympic athletes of Timor-Leste for their hard work and commitment. Their excellence in sport has led to this opportunity to participate in the Rio games and to proudly represent our nation. We wish them every success.” ENDS