1932 Brazilian Olympic Team Paid for Travel to San Francisco Games by Selling Coffee Beans While in Transit on a Boat
- Created: Wednesday, 18 April 2012 06:59
- Written by Joe
Brazil has many positive things going on these days. They are hosting the World Cup in 2014 and then the Olympic Games in 2016. They are building lavish stadiums and exotic venues left and right while their local economy is booming.
That is a stark contrast to where Brazil was back in 1932. Brazil had 82 athletes who were going to participate in the Olympic Games that were being held in San Francisco. The problem was Brazil was going throug a depression and had no money to pay for transportation of their athletes to get to the games.
Their solution: Put all of the athletes onto a ship loaded with Brazilian coffee beans. As the ship passed from port to port, they would have the athletes sell the coffee beans to help pay for the transportation.
They must not have sold much coffee because when they arrived at the Port of Los Angeles, they had to pay $1 for each passenger who disembarked the ship. Since they did not have $82, they only let out the athletes who they felt had a chance to win a medal.
One of the people let off of the boat was Maria Lenk. She disembarked with a bunch of coffee and went into the port to try and raise more money for the rest of the athletes. She raised some money, but came up $15 short because in the end, 15 athletes had to stay on the ship for the remainder of the Olympics.
Of all of the athletes who competed that year for Brazil, the most notable case was Adalberto Cardoso, who hitched a ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles and only arrived at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum ten minutes prior to the 10,000 meter race he was scheduled to run in. Cardoso competed the race barefoot and finished last, but was cheered by the audience and earned a special medal.