334’2022 (2022-11-30) – Tuesday

Today, I learned about:

As I promised you in my post of 304’2022 (2022-10-31) , here is the beginning of my story about how Brazil is investing in bringing up a generation of skiers that hopefully one day will be able to compete on an elite level around the world.

To start with, the house you see in today’s header has a sign saying NEBAR, it is an abbreviation in Portuguese for the attribute Núcleo de Esportes de Base e Alto Rendimento, which means Nucleus for Basic and Highly Productive Sports in English. It is a joint project between the Special Secretary for Sports of the Federal Government’s Ministry for Citizenship, the Department of Physical Education and Human Motricity at the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar), and CBDN. See also reference 1 below.

Here are some more pictures that I took while visiting the NEBAR team:

In these photos you can see three of the members in the rollerskiing coaching team, from left to right Fabio, Guilherme, and Carol. And in the smaller photos, from top to bottom, Guilherme gives us a closer look on one type of rollerski, with a large assortment in the background; and of course, there is a need to wear special boots to fit into the skies; and finally Carol shows us two different types of boots, the left one can be used both for rollerskiing on a paved road and in cross country skiing on snow, while the right one only is suited for rollerskiing. Photos taken on 330’2022 (2022-11-26).

During 2023, I will follow the NEBAR team and report more on their activities.

That’s what I learned in school today!



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304’2022 (2022-10-31) – Halloween

Today, I learned about:

As you read in my post of 240’2022 (2022-08-28) , although Brazil does not have the natural conditions to be a country involved in winter sports, there are two Brazilian confederations, CBDG (sports on ice) and CBDN (sports on snow). For the former part, there is of course the possibility of building an ice arena, which you also saw in that post. But what do you do to create good conditions to practice on snow in a country with mainly tropical and sub-tropical climate?

CBDN has found a way! There is another sport which mimics cross country skiing, but without snow. It is called roller skiing, for details see reference #1 below.

I had the pleasure of attending a roller skiing competition in São Carlos, SP, Brazil two weeks ago. The following photo shows me testing the winners’ podium, and yes if it could hold me, then the athletes would have no problems to be receiving their well-earned medals.

Me testing the winners’ podium before the prize giving ceremonies of the third stage of the Brazilian roller skiing circuit, held in São Carlos, SP, Brazil on 287’2022 (2022-10-14)

Here you can see two pictures from the competition on 287’2022 (2022-10-14), when the topic was a 1,4 km sprint with qualifications, semi-finals and finals, as well as the top trio in both the women’s and the men’s competition. Reference # 2 below gives all the details about the competition.

In this photo can be seen the finish in the women’s 1, 4 km sprint. It is also very clear to see how the skis used by the athletes are.
A photo showing the finish in the men’s 1,4 km sprint
A video clip showing the fascinating finish of the men’s 1,4 km sprint
The winning trio in the women’s 1,4 km sprint: 1) Eduarda Ribera (only 17 years old!); 2) Gabriela Neres; 3) Mirlene Picin. All three from Brazil.
The winning trio in the men’s 1,4 km sprint, 1) Claudio Oliveira, Brazil; 2) Victor Santos, Brazil; 3) Yonathan Fernandez, Chile.

Next month, I will give more details about the roller skiing organization within CBDN.

That’s what I learned in school today!


1: Roller skiing

2: Circuito brasileiro de rollerski etapa III

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240’2022 (2022-08-28) – Sunday

Today, I learned about:

I recently moved 650 km (400 miles) from the state of Paraná to the state of São Paulo, making this the first post from my new location in São Carlos. And it also means that I am now sufficiently close to the city of São Paulo to go there, meet old friends and experience exciting things on a regular basis.

And since there is no time to get wasted, I just came back home from such a trip to São Paulo over the last, extended weekend, and do I have interesting things to report:

Brazilian winter sports

With its warm, mostly tropical climate, Brazil is of course not the most natural place to practice what many people call winter sports, which typically use snow or ice as the setting. But that does not mean that Brazilians are abstaining themselves from winter sports. Between Saturday 246’2022 (2022-09-03) and Saturday 253’2022 (2022-09-10) the Brazilian Open will be held in alpine skiing and snowboard. But the lack of sufficient amount of snow in Brazil makes it necessary to organize it in Corralco, Chile. The responsibility for the event lies with CBDN (Confederação Brasileira de Desportos na Neve), i.e. the Brazilian Confederation for Sports on Snow. More about CBDN and their activities can be found in reference #1 below.

Furthermore, there is also CBDG (Confederação Brasileira de Desportos no Gelo), i.e. the Brazilian Confederation for Sports on Ice, reference #2 below. Last Thursday, on 237’22 (2022-08-25), I had the pleasure of meeting with the Presidents of CBDG, Matheus Figueiredo, and CBDN, Anders Pettersson, in the CBDG headquarters in Brazil, the so called Arena Ice. Besides an iceskating rink for figure skating and 3×3 ice hockey, the arena hosts three official sized ice sheets for curling, sometimes thought of as chess on ice. If you do not know what curling is, then I suggest you take a look at my earlier posts in the matter, such as 83’2018 (2018-03-24), 124’2018 (2018-05-24), and 91’2019 (2019-04-01) .

The following photo gives you a view of the curling ice sheets, and furthermore, below are also two more photos taken during my visit to Arena Ice:

This photo shows the three ice sheets of official size that are available in Brazilian Ice Sport´s stadium Arena Ice. Photo taken by Anders Pettersson on 237’22 (2022-08-25).
In the photo to the left, from left to right, we see the two gentlemen who are the official leaders of winter sport in Brazil, Matheus Figueiredo, president of the Brazilian Confederation for Sports on Ice (CBDG), and Anders Pettersson, president of the Brazilian Confederation for Sports on Snow (CDBN), discussing over a delicious cup of Brazilian coffee in Arena Ice´s cafeteria. In the photo to the right, Matheus and I, posing while taking very much care to not fall on the slippery ice on the curling sheet. Both photos taken on 237’2022 (2022-08-25) in Arena Ice, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.

Swedcham Friday Fika

Then on Friday, 238’22 (2022-08-26), I went to the Swedish-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (Swedcham) to assist an interview in the series that they call Friday Fika, in which the executive director of Swedcham, Jonas Lindström, has held many interesting interviews with people of various trades. It used to be exclusively online, but since the Covid pandemic is showing strong signs to decay, before this event they had already experienced the first interview IRL, combined with online transmisson for those who for some reason could not go there in person. Reference #3 gives all the details, with links to the various events, hosted on Youtube.

The interviewee this time was Christopher Podgorski, CEO of Scania Latin America, a business leader known for his way of leading and incentivating people to work together in order to reach the business goals. In reference #4 is a direct link to the interview.

Below are some photos I took of the event:

A photo of the event where Christopher Podgorski, CEO of Scania Latin America, to the left, is interviewed by Jonas Lindström, Executive Director of Swedcham Brazil.
Two photos from behind the stage: The left one showing the light atmosphere during the event, with the public enjoying both the interview and the delicious snacks. The right photo shows the last minute setup that had to be made in order to put the video feed online. Manoel Alberto and his daughter Gabriele Los Angeles were able to help Jonas with that task.

In my next post I hope to be able to show you the pictures taken in Ouro Preto during my visit there in May 2022.

That’s what I learned in school today!




3: Friday Fika

4: Friday Fika with Christopher Podgorski

*: What did you learn in school today ?

212’2022 (2022-07-31) – Sunday

Today, I learned about:

The World Athletics Championships, held in Eugene, OR, USA, just ended last Sunday after 10 interesting days full of exciting competitions. And as a Swede, once more I had to admit that “Patience is a virtue”. After two bronze medals in the race walk 20 km and 35 km by Perseus Karlström, we had to wait to the final competition, the male pole vault, to see a Swede (albeit dual American and Swedish citizen), Armand Duplantis, finish on top of the podium. And what a fantastic result, 6,21 m, new world record! As you can see from the screenshots below, if the bar had been placed on 6,29 m, in principle he would have made it at that height, as well!

Here it is, the new world record in male pole vault. Armand Duplantis closed the World Athletic Championships in Eugene in the best possible way. If he had continued, would he have made it even higher, such as 6,29 m ??? I think he will show that to us later on.

And there was another thing, that few people noticed, that also made me very content. You may remember that in my post of 212’2021 (2021-07-31) , I complained about the distorted names for all competitors who did not conform to the basic ASCII code, but had their names made almost illegible. Well, the organizers of the World Athletics Championships must have read that post, because they made a fantastic job in writing all names the way nature created them. As you can see below, the aformementioned medallist, race walker Perseus Karlström, finally obtained what he deserves.

This is only one example of all the correct spellings of the athletes participating in the World Athletics Championships in Eugene.

But there was one, tiny detail that failed in that context. The German heptathlon athlete Sophie Weißenberg got a dual personality!

In German, there is an old letter ß, which nowadays often is spelled ss. As you can see in this sequence of screenshots, the pentathlon athlete Sophie Weißenberg seems to be treated by the organizers as a transition between the old and the new style way of writing. Even though the old style is really the most correct way, the new style is normally accepted now. However, may we ask that next time Sophie appears in the World Athletics Championships, only one way would be used in all writing of her name? If you want to know more about these fantastic sports and their athletes, see reference # 1 below.

And, finally, here are some pictures from my tour in Minas Gerais. All of them below are from the town of Tiradentes.

Photos taken in the town of Tiradentes, State of Minas Gerais, Brazil, on 143-144’2022 (2022-05-23–24). This is one of the historical places in this state that is being conserved to look like in the 18th century, when Brazil was a Portuguese colony. The name Tiradentes literally means a person who withdraws teeth, which in many cases were what the dentists then had to do. And Tiradentes is mainly connected with such person, whose real name was Joaquim José da Silva Xavier and who was leading a rebellion against the Portuguese reign over Brazil. He was condemned and hanged on April 21, 1792. April 21 is now a national holiday in Brazil, Tiradentes Day. The object in the middle of the lower row is a speciality of the town of Tiradentes. It is a hearth in which alcohol is burnt to produce a warm and cosy atmosphere, the same principle as the one used in the rechaud of a fondue equipment. More about Tiradentes can be found in reference #2 below.

And one more thing, I took today’s header photo, an ordinary street view with an extraordinary sunset, yesterday 211’2022 (2022-07-30) in Paranavaí, PR, Brazil:

An amazing sunset in Paranavaí, PR, Brazil, a photo I took on 211’2022 (2022-07-30).

That’s what I learned in school today!


1: World Athletics Championships 2022

2: Tiradentes

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242’2021 (2021-08-30) – Monday

Today, I learned about:

It is always interesting to see photos from the same place during different seasons. You may remember that in my post of 120’2021 (2021-04-30), I showed a photo from Hundfjället (“Dog mountain”) when there was a ski season. Now it is Summer and of course nature looks very different.

That’s what I learned in school today!


*: What did you learn in school today ?

212’2021 (2021-07-31) – Saturday

Today, I learned about:

We are half-way through the Summer Olympics and if you thought that Beijing would be the first city to host games of both the Summer and Winter Olympics, when they will take on the Winter games in 2022, then you are WRONG!

The fact is that the Northern Japanese city of Sapporo already held the Winter games in 1972, only eight years after Tokyo had arranged the memorable Summer games in 1964, and now Sapporo is back again. As everone knows, Tokyo is the main city of the games, but some sports are organized in different cities around the Japanese islands. In fact, Sapporo organized an olympic football match already two days ahead of the official opening ceremony this year. On July 21, 2021, Great Britain beat Chile by 2-0 in a female football match in the Sapporo dome, and other examples of events to be held in Sapporo involve the marathon road races and the race walk events. The reason is that these time-consuming events should be kept away from the normally hot Tokyo streets in summer and permit better conditions for the athletes further north in Japan.

If you are interested in more about the Sapporo Winter Olympics in 1972, see reference #1 below.

As I mentioned above, Tokyo was already the host of the Summer Olympic games in 1964 and the plans were to come back with the games in July and August of 2020. But as everyone knows, the on-going pandemic postponed the games one year. Tokyo had been awarded the organization of the 1940 Summer Olympics, but that honor was subsequently passed on to Helsinki due to Japan’s invasion of China, before ultimately being cancelled due to World War II.

More about the Tokyo Summer Olympics of 1964 can be found in reference #2 below.

As always, watching the Olympic Games on TV is a fantastic show. I particularly like the Augmented Reality, which permits e.g. to show how far the leader in a race is from breaking the current world record. The top picture shows the final in the men’s 50 m freestyle swimming, where the leader Caeleb Dressel is chasing not only the gold medal, but also the almost 12-year old world record. However, the two lower pictures show examples of how ancient technology is still used in the games. In the left photo, the holder of the current world record of 400 m hurdles, Karsten Warholm is struggling to fix his number sign with old-style security pins. In the right photo can be seen how bad it can look, besides probably being a nuisance for the athletes, in this case Warholm’s competitor, Alison dos Santos. The French are known to invent crazy things, how about a novel number sign for the Summer Olympics in Paris in 2024?

I had the pleasure of visiting my sister-in-law and her family in Tokyo in April of 2005 and I must admit it was one of the busiest cities I have ever known. More about that visit can be found in my post of 108’2016 (2016-04-17).

That’s what I learned in school today!


1: Sapporo Winter Olympics 1972

2: Tokyo Summer Olympics 1964

*: What did you learn in school today ?

181’2021 (2021-06-30) – End of first half!

Today, I learned about:

So we have come to the end of the first half of year 2021 AD. The last month has been quite exciting with all the thrilling matches in the UEFA European Championships in football for national teams. That competition has now arrived at the quarter-final stage and is taking a break until Friday 183’2021 (2021-07-02) before its four games will be played on that and the following day.

I am also taking a small break in my blog posting, but promise to be back very soon with new, interesting topics.

See you again on the other side of 2021!

That’s what I learned in school today!


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151’2021 (2021-05-31) – … or is it still 2020?

Today, I learned about:

In a society that does not seem to be interested in protecting their citizens against lethal dangers, which is the new trend? Instead of using the year 2021, they keep on insisting to still use 2020, as if it did not already exist. Currently, there are at least three big sporting events that were cancelled in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that just happened or are about to happen, and which keep 2020 in the name.

Please look at the following image. More information about the events can be found in references # 1, 2, and 3 below.

Three sporting events held in 2021, all with 2020 in their names, from left to right: The first one is from the European Aquatics Championships, which were held in Budapest earlier this month. The second one is the European Championships in Football, to be held in June and July in various countries over Europe, and the last one is from the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, scheduled to start on July 23, 2021.

That’s what I learned in school today!


1: European Aquatics Championships

2: UEFA EURO 2020

3: Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

*: What did you learn in school today ?

2019-04-01 (April Fool’s Day!)

Today, I learned that:

Very recently, I received two pieces of sport news from Sweden which really made me both laugh and admire the initiative force of Swedish female athletes of all ages.

The first one is about curling. One week ago, Switzerland beat Sweden in the final of the women’s world championships, held in Silkeborg, Denmark, situated close to what was once considered to be highest point in Denmark. As you can see from this slogan, Danish mountain climbers have a blast there:

By the way, the highest peak here, called Himmelbjerget (which means the mountain of heaven) reaches impressive 147 m! See also reference #1 below.

But getting back to curling, one of the members of the Swedish team is called Agnes Knochenhauer. She won a gold medal in the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang in 2018, and after that, she and her team mates have won the European Championships and twice been runner up at the World Championships. In January this year, the same team from Sundbybergs CK also played in the Swedish Championships, held in Jönköping. Agnes let her 7-year old daughter, Tilda, visit the games together with her mother. Tilda has already started her own career and when the team skip, Anna Hasselborg, got sick, Tilda jumped in and replaced Anna, not as a skip, but as one of the other players. The result was beyond expectation, the team won the championships and little Tilda can now put Swedish adult champion on her business card! See also reference #2 below.

The Swedish champions 2019, from left to right: Anna Hasselborg, Agnes Knochenhauer, Tilda Knochenbahuer, Sara McManaus, and Sofia Mabergs. Photo taken on 2019-01-06 by Svenska Curlingförbundet.

And yesterday happened another interesting fact. During the last day of the Swedish Championships in biathlon, which had relay races on the program, another Olympic champion from PyeongChang, Hanna Öberg, also got sick and could not participate together with her teams mates in the women’s team event. That meant that her club, Piteå SSK, had to withdraw from the competition. But one of the two other team mates, Anna Magnusson, won a bronze medal nevertheless! She participated in the men’s (!) relay race with two male colleagues. See also reference #3 below.

The Swedish female biathlon athlete Anna Magnusson, now historic Swedish male champion, in a photo taken in Oberhof on 2018-01-04 by Christian Bier

That’s what I learned in school !


1: Silkeborg

2: 7-åriga Tilda ersatte OS-ettan och vann SM-guld

3: Anna Magnusson tog stafettmedalj – för herrar

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2018-10-20 (Saturday)

Today, I learned that:

Continuing the post from 2018-09-29, here are two more interesting British facts from the world of Sports:

Wimbledon surrenders to John Isner

The American tennis player John Isner is, among other things, well known for having participated in the two longest fifth sets in the history of the Wimbledon tournament. In 2010, he beat the Frenchman Nicholas Mahut after winning the fifth set by 70-68, after three calendar days and 8 h 11 min of playing time. Then in this year’s tournament, in the semifinals, he lost to the South African player Kevin Anderson by 26-24 in the fifth set.

But that is the end of such marathon games, because as of 2019, Wimbledon has decided to introduce a tie-breaker at 12-12 in the fifth set.

See also references # 1 and 2 below.

Scotswoman breaks record for touring the world on a bicycle

In Britain, there are not only wonder women in golf. The Scottish cyclist Jenny Graham just arrived in Berlin after having gone on a tour around the world. You may remember that in the Jules Verne novel Around the World in Eighty days, her compatriot Phileas Fogg made it, using trains and steamer ships on 80 days. Jenny did not totally get there, but nevertheless her record is an amazing 124  days! (Another Brit, Mark Beaumont, holds the male record, set in September 2017, with 78 days 14 h 14 min., thus beating Phileas Fogg.)

Jenny Graham

Jenny Graham stops for a selfie while passing the Russian city of Pskov, close to the borders with Estonia and Latvia. Courtesy of Jenny Graham/The Adventure Syndicate/PA.

See also references # 3, 4, and 5 below.

Donkey steps

On various occasions, I have referenced material from Sveriges Radio (the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation), and here is yet another one:

Yesterday, their correspondent at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, Andreas Liljeheden, published a chronicle about the particular construction of the stair case between the two main buildings of the European Parliament. The following photo shows exactly that view.

EU steps

The court yard in the EU Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, highlighting the donkey steps between the two main buildings. Photo taken by Andreas Liljeheden on 2018-10-18.

As you can see, the vertical displacement from one step to another is small, but the horizontal one is much greater, exactly 1,16 m according to Andreas’ measurement. This makes walking up and down the stairs a complicated task. He investigated the origins of that crazy stair case, and found that in some countries of the European continent, such as Austria and Germany, there is a tradition of using deeper steps, whereas the Belgians and Dutch normally, due to the higher population density, have to settle with a different project, with a higher vertical-to-horizontal ratio. Sweden is, as always, “lagom”, i.e. mid-way.

Here are two more photos of donkey steps, the first one being a close-up of the EU Parliament steps, and the second one a typical scene of donkeys climbing the steps in Fira, the capital of the island of Santorini in the Greek Aegean Sea.


Two examples of donkey steps: To the left, a visitor to the EU Parliament in Brussels, Belgium (photo by Andreas Liljeheden, 2018-10-18). To the right, real donkeys in Fira, Santorini, Greece (photo by Liz Stark, 2016-04-06).

But why is Andreas emphasising this stair case? In no way, he implies that hard working politicians are donkeys, but he thinks it is a symbol for the difficulties encountered by the EU members. If you cannot have a unanimous decision on something by all its 28 member countries (soon to be 27?), then there has to be a compromise, such is life! Thanks Andreas for your valuable contribution!

See also reference #6 below.

That’s what I learned in school !


1: Longest tennis match records

2: Call It the John Isner Rule: Wimbledon Plans to Add a Final-Set Tiebreaker

3: Scottish cyclist smashes round-the world record

4: Around the World in Eighty Days

5: Around the world in 78 days: British cyclist completes record-breaking ride

6: Åsnetrappor typiskt för EU: Ekots Andreas Liljeheden, Bryssel

*: What did you learn in school today ?