Indigenous archer looks to make it a Dream team

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 24, 2015 10:04 AM

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Dream Braga has been shooting fish with a bow and arrow for most of his life. In the Amazonian village where he grew up, that was what kids did for food and fun.

Now Braga is one of seven indigenous youths chosen for their archery skills by a program that aims to get them competing in international archery competitions for Brazil.

After training with Olympic coaches for three months, he has now been promoted to Brazil's national team.

Aged 18, he is unlikely to secure one of Brazil's three archery spots for next year's Rio Olympics but he still harbors lofty ambitions.

"I hope to compete in an Olympics one day," he said at the end of a long morning of competition at the Brazilian Archery Confederation's training center near Rio.

"It might not be 2016, but there is 2020, 2024, 2028. There are lots of Olympics in the future and I hope to be at one of them representing Brazil."

Getting this far is an achievement in itself for Braga, whose indigenous community Cambeba is 500km by boat from the nearest big city.

The recurve competition bow is a far cry from the ones he and his father made from palm trees and which lasted a week.

And shooting targets is very different from standing in the shallow waters shooting fish.

"The cord is different, as is the weight, the strength, the stabilizer," Braga said. "The technique we use with the primitive bow and arrow is very different from the Olympic bow and arrow. But I've evolved quite quickly."

(Reporting by Andrew Downie, editing by Pritha Sarkar and Tony Jimenez)