The Sochi Network

Brazil’s Santos finds her feet on Sochi snow

Joselane Santos was the only woman in aerials qualifying to take off from the smallest of the six ramps, perform the simplest jump, finish last and promptly burst into tears.

Considering the Brazilian former gymnast had strapped on skis for the first time only seven months ago, though, she could rightly consider executing two clean jumps on the Extreme Park hill an Olympic triumph.

With the cheers of a supportive crowd still echoing around the stands, the tears were soon replaced by a beaming smile as the 29-year-old from Sao Paulo was mobbed by the media.

"It was very emotional for me, I am dedicating this competition to my friend who was injured before I came here," she said through an interpreter.

Selected along with the injured friend in trials in Brazil last June before leaving for Canada to start training, Santos quickly becoming acquainted with the dangers of her new daredevil sport when she slashed her wrist in a fall.

"It's a very similar sport to gymnastics and at the same time very different as well," she said.

"I'm a fanatic for adrenaline and that's what matters most to me."

The first Brazilian to compete in the Olympic aerials, Santos was recruited as part of scheme dreamed up by Canadian coach Ryan Snow to prepare freestyle skiiers from the Latin American country for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Brazil will host the next Summer Games in 2016 - when Santos said she would be following her artistic gymnastics coach boyfriend Cristiano Albino - but the country has only 13 athletes in Sochi.

The hope is that number will be significantly higher in Pyeongchang in 2018 and, having had one taste of the Olympics, Santos is keen to be one of them.

"I hope so," she said, flashing another beaming smile, when asked whether she would be back in four years' time.

Reuters