En Plein Air

EN PLEIN AIR
By Gabriele Galimberti & Edoardo Delille

In Rio de Janeiro, sports are life – and life is not a spectator sport. Little playing fields steal back space from the asphalt and traffic circles, defying cars and buildings alike. They creep in amongst the steep and winding streets and are sketched into the golden sands that have made this city immortal. Rain forests and granitic cliffs are a testing ground, where distinctions of gender, race or religion cease to exist. The differences between high and low are made level. Kids from the favelas that cling to the hillsides come down into the city, losing themselves among the upper-crust bourgeoisie well-heeled from Ipanema and Leblon. A surfboard, a soccer ball or a skateboard is all it takes to make them indistinguishable. Social background doesn’t matter for the players of the Flamengo basketball team portrayed in one of these pictures; difference sit sinks while when the girls from the Brazil national synchronized swimming team, Brazil national champions, float over the twirl in the water.

Sports blend favela boys in love with football, bikers rolling down the seaside and surfers resting on the beach, as those shown in these images. Call it the miracle of motion – motion that changes perspectives and revolutionizes viewpoints, as in these photos, which provide a portrait of a city and its inhabitants as they have never been seen before In Brazil, the democratic nature of sports is, after all, guaranteed under the Constitution. Article 217 of the Brazilian Federal Constitution – adopted in 1988, four years after the horrors of dictatorship had come to an end – describes sports as a social right, for which the State is, at least in part, responsible. Whether as a consequence of its constitutional obligation or of an inclination to comply with its people’s wishes, the most recent census of the State of Rio, conducted in 2003, counted 155 stadiums, 1,685 small playing fields, 367 swimming pools, and 39 athletics tracks. As recently as 2012, the local government spent 56 million reals (18 million euros) on “social sports” activities – not the on World Cup, with its controversy, nor even on the Olympics, with its expectations, but on its inhabitants’ daily battle to achieve their potential through motion.

Text by Gea Scancarello

See also:

www.edoardodelille.com

www.riverboom.com


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  • Rio de Janeiro

    Rio de Janeiro

    A group of children are posing on the biggest playing field in the Favela Vidigal. This field is located at the top of the favela, which is one of the most famous in Rio de Janeiro, because is situated in one of the choicest locations in the city. It is very close to Leblon, one of the of wealthiest neighborhoods. From the top of the favela, the view of Ipanema is amazing. This is why, today, many middle class people are buying houses there. They say, “Now that this favela has been pacified, Vidigal is the place to be in Rio!” Every day, hundreds of children play different kinds of sports (but mostly soccer) in the many little playing fields within the favela.

    Rio de Janeiro

  • Rio de Janeiro

    Rio de Janeiro

    The Clube de Regatas do Flamengo is one of the biggest sports clubs in the city. It is a private club and it is located at the beginning of Leblon, one of the most exclusive neighbourhoods in Rio de Janeiro.

    In the club there are 3 pools, as well as fields and courts for soccer, basket and volleyball, and a number of tennis courts. Four of the club’s many tennis teachers are posing in this picture.

    Rio de Janeiro

  • Rio de Janeiro

    Rio de Janeiro

    All around the Lagoa (the lake between Ipanema and Corcovado) there are numerous little playing fields and areas dedicated to sports, including two skate parks. Every day, many teenagers come to these places to do their favorite sport, skateboarding. Skateboarding is a common sport in Rio, and different sorts of teenagers do it, from the rich kids from Leblon to the poorest kids from the favelas in the northern part of the city. In this photo, there are teenagers from both of ends of this class spectrum. In this park, they always skate together.

    Rio de Janeiro

  • Rio de Janeiro

    Rio de Janeiro

    In the Parque do Flamengo, there are many different playing fields, courts and other areas dedicated to different sports. People can play soccer, volleyball, hockey, basketball and tennis, as well as go skateboarding, running and biking. In this photo, 6 basketball players are posing on the closest field to the highway that runs through Rio. The one with the red shorts is Andrè Klun, a former professional player (he played for 2 years on the Italian Virtus Roma team). He’s now the coach of the Flamengo basketball team.

    Rio de Janeiro

  • Rio de Janeiro

    Rio de Janeiro

    The Flamengo synchronized swimming team is the current champion of Brazil. The girls on the team go to train at the Clube de Regatas do Flamengo. This picture was taken there on one of their training days.

    Rio de Janeiro

  • Rio de Janeiro

    Rio de Janeiro

    A group of children are posing on the biggest playing field in the Favela da Coroa. This field is located at the top of the favela, which is one of the biggest around the central part of Rio de Janeiro and, in the past, was known as one of the most violent. Today, the favela has been pacified by the UPP (Police Pacification Unit) and the violence has almost disappeared. Every day, hundreds of children play different kinds of sports (but mostly soccer) in the many little playing fields within the favela.

    Rio de Janeiro

  • Rio de Janeiro

    Rio de Janeiro

    At the Ipanema beach, people do many different sports, but one of the most common is definitely stand up paddle surfing. There are also a number of schools that teach it, especially in the area close to the Arpoador Rock. In this picture, teacher and beginners are posing together.

    Rio de Janeiro

  • Rio de Janeiro

    Rio de Janeiro

    Rio de Janeiro

  • Rio de Janeiro

    Rio de Janeiro

    All around the Lagoa (the lake between Ipanema and Corcovado) there are many different little playing fields and areas dedicated to sports, including two skate parks. Every day, many teenagers come to these places to do their favorite sport, skateboarding. Skateboarding is a common sport in Rio, and different sorts of teenagers do it, from the rich kids from Leblon to the poorest kids from the favelas in the northern part of the city.

    Rio de Janeiro

  • Rio de Janeiro

    Rio de Janeiro

    One of the most famous beaches for surfing and bodyboarding in Rio de Janeiro is the Praia do Joatinga in the southern part of the city. Every day, many surfers and bodyboarders go there to practice their favorite sports.There are also some schools on the beach. In this picture, two teachers and one beginner are posing together on the big rock at the southern end of the beach.

    Rio de Janeiro

  • Rio de Janeiro

    Rio de Janeiro

    Yoga lesson

    Rio de Janeiro

  • Rio de Janeiro

    Rio de Janeiro

    Elivelton is 22 years old. He was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro and he’s a soldier in the Brazilian Army. In this picture, he is posing inside the Parkour training center, a public space specifically designed and built for parkour. This is a new sport in Rio de Janeiro and only a few people practice it. Nonetheless, the municipality decided to build a space in the Catete neighbourhood dedicated to this sport

    Rio de Janeiro

  • Rio de Janeiro

    Rio de Janeiro

    At the Parque do Flamengo, there are many different playing fields, courts and areas dedicated to sport. People can play soccer, volleyball, tennis, hockey and basketball, as well as go running, biking, rollerblading and skateboarding. In this photo, Leaf is posing with his hockey equipment.

    Leaf is Brazilian, but he grew up in Denmark, where he also learned to play hockey. He moved back to Brazil few years ago and today he plays on a small rollerblade hockey team.

    Rio de Janeiro

  • Rio de Janeiro

    Rio de Janeiro

    Arpoador Rock is the most famous place in the city for surfers. Every day, many of them go there to ride the big waves that roll in from the Atlantic Ocean. This place is a little natural paradise, although it lies very close to the large buildings of Copacabana and Ipanema. Adriana, a novice surfer, is posing lying on the rock with her board.

    Rio de Janeiro

  • Rio de Janeiro

    Rio de Janeiro

    This soccer field is in the center of Santa Teresa, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Rio De Janeiro. The playing field is cement. Every weekend it hosts a large number of small soccer matches. Many little neighborhood teams go there to play. There are people of different ages on these teams, with players ranging from 6 to 60 years old.

    Rio de Janeiro

  • Rio de Janeiro

    Rio de Janeiro

    Beach tennis is a new sport in Rio. The first courts for playing it were built by an Italian, who came to Rio 8 years ago from Romagna (Italy), the place where this sport was first invented, with the idea of exporting beach tennis to Brazil. Gianluca’s place, Ipanema500, is famous in Rio, and today there are many people who play this sport. He is also the coach of a team and he organizes international competitions on these courts.

    Rio de Janeiro

  • Rio de Janeiro

    Rio de Janeiro

    All around the Lagoa (the lake between Ipanema and Corcovado) there are numerous different little playing fields and areas dedicated to sports, including two public tennis courts. Every day, many people, mostly around the age of 40, go there to play tennis. Most of the tennis courts in Rio are on private property, but these two are public and it is free to go there and play. This helps the poorest people, who can’t afford to pay to join a private club, giving them a place to go and practice this sport.

    Rio de Janeiro