HRH Princess Anne, the Princess Royal made a visit yesterday to Team GB’s largest ever Preparation camp in Belo Horizonte, Brazil in her capacity as President of the British Olympic Association (BOA). She was joined at the camp – which is located some 270 miles from Rio de Janeiro – by Lord Coe, Chair of the BOA, as well as her husband, Sir Timothy Laurence.
Funded by a £1.6 million National Lottery grant from UK Sport, the camp welcomed its first Team GB athletes on 22 July and will run until 15 August. A total of more than 350 athletes and support staff across 14 different sports will pass through the camp by the end of the games.
Princess Anne’s visit afforded her the opportunity to meet with a host of Team BG athletes as well as local Brazilian athletes from the Minas Tennis Club, where Team GB marathon swimming, table tennis, fencing, taekwondo, boxing an judo athletes have been preparing for the Olympic games.
The tour included a stop at the Federal University of Minas Gerias (UFMG), where the Team GB swimming and athletics participants have been doing final training before travelling to Rio, and the San Diego Apartments where the athletes have been staying.
Speaking about the camp during the visit Lord Coe was quoted as saying,
‘It’s remarkable what has been achieved at our preparation camp in Belo Horizonte. The athletes have enjoyed the best possible facilities and preparation. The support we have received from the local authorities has been enormous and we owe the city and state a huge thank you for all their efforts and cooperation. I am delighted that our President, Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal was able to visit Belo Horizonte and hope everyone’s hard work will be translated into Team GB success over the coming days.’
Paul Ford, the Head of Pre-Games Preparations said of the Princess Royal’s visit, ‘It was an honour to welcome Princess Anne to Belo Horizonte and the Team GB Prep Camp. We are hugely proud of what is the biggest and best preparation camp we have ever run, no stone has been left unturned in helping our athletes give their best performances at the Olympic Games in Rio.’
Princess Anne famously competed in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec but did not take home a medal.