Brazilian travel agents competing at an annual golf tournament, at Sandals Ocho Rios, hinted last Friday that Jamaicans could be targeted for special travel offers to the Rio 2016 Olympics. The world’s greatest-ever sprinter, Jamaican Usain Bolt, will be chasing his ninth gold medal in three consecutive Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro next year. It will also be his final Olympic Games as he has stated his intention to retire after the 2017 IAAF World Championships. Also chasing Olympic history will be Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, looking invincible and on target for a third-straight 100m gold. Maria Terresinha De Souza said Jamaica’s expected prowess in Rio 2016 will definitely have her thinking about special packages for Jamaicans desirous of travelling to Brazil for the Games. “This is an opportunity to think about it and find something special for Jamaica,” she said. Meanwhile, Daise Tanara De Souza of Magic Tour Viagens E Turismo, said Brazilians and Jamaicans have a lot in common. “There is a good connection between Brazil and Jamaica. Brazilians are similar to Jamaicans in their way of life,” she said, adding that she will also be seeking innovative ways of putting together attractive travel packages for Jamaicans. There is no visa requirement, up to 90 days, for Jamaicans travelling to Brazil. The countries have enjoyed a strong sporting relationship, particularly in football. Pele remains king of the sport for an older generation of football-loving Jamaicans. It was almost ordained that it was a Brazilian, Rene Simoes, who historically guided Jamaica to the 1998 World Cup finals in France. Brazil played a pivotal role in Jamaica’s Road To France campaign. Simoes had taken the Reggae Boyz to Samba Land to teach them the finer points of the game on better playing surfaces and against legendary club teams from that country. The Rio 2016 opening ceremony will be at the world famous Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 5, 2016.
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