Rio nudists stage ‘naked Olympics’
On a stunning beach in Rio de Janeiro a group of brave souls have stripped the Olympic Games right back to basics as they pay tribute to the ancient Greeks by staging their own games – in the nude.
The dedicated naturists are competing every weekend in a series of high-spirited and energetic contests that toss all inhibitions out of the window.
The organisers of the Abrico Beach ‘Olympic Games’ say anyone can take part – as long as they are prepared to strip off.
They advise all competitors: ‘There is no point worrying about ‘what you look like when you bend over to pick up the ball, getting embarrassed when you fall over with your legs up in the air or bothering about your bits jiggling as you sprint for the finishing line.’
Naked Olympic ‘events’ include football, beach volleyball, swimming, sprinting and race walking. There are also a few non-Olympic sports such as the tug of war, surfing, which is due to debut at the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo, and Peteca, a traditional game in Brazil which is played with a hand shuttlecock.
The stark-naked games on the dedicated naturist Abrico beach in Grumari, in the west zone of Rio, are a far cry from the rigorous and heavily contested competitions taking place just nine miles away in the Olympic city in Barra da Tijuca.
Naturist Elisangela Santiago, who runs Rio’s Abrico Beach Naturist Association, said: ‘We decided we wanted to enjoy the Olympics in a novel and liberating way that paid tribute to the origins of the sport.
‘We have lined up a few fun games for people to get involved in. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t got an athletic bone in your body, the whole idea is to push out the boundaries and have plenty of legitimate fun while you happen to be naked.
‘Our games are all about encouraging people to feel good about themselves and promote a healthy and positive way of living freely and be at one with nature,’ she added.
Elisangela said: ‘We are giving out medals for all those who are good sports and who participate. The only thing is that you will have to stand on a rock to receive your medal because we don’t have a podium. And we make do with deck chairs for goalposts when we play football.’
It’s winter in Brazil and temperatures have dropped from the summer highs of 45 degrees and hover around the 25 to 29-degree mark, and with a slight wind chill in the air, no one was brave enough to bear the cold South Atlantic waters without a stitch on. Even so the beach was packed with naked bodies.
‘That doesn’t mean you can’t compete and show off your skills in the sea. It’s just that many of us prefer to do it when it’s warm,’ explained Elisangela, a 35-year-old nurse.
Abrico beach is located in a remote area of Rio in a steep mountainous region with breathtaking scenic views. It is not easily reached without a car. The beach is sheltered by soaring mountains that line the sandy coast. This makes it an ideal location for practicing naturism.
And even though the area is right beside another beach where everyone wears bikinis or swimming trunks, the nudism section is partitioned off by huge towering boulders that block the entrance to the naturists stretch.
This means no one can gawp, ogle or take sneaky pictures at a distance.
Businessman, Luis Carlos, 37, is second in charge of running the naturist reserve.
He said: ‘We have over 1,000 members from all walks of life that include lawyers, teachers, police officers, scientists and so on, who regularly come here to relax and get a tan all over.’
Luis has been a naturist for the past six years and said he ‘absolutely adores’ the area.
He said: ‘This is a really different and beautiful beach which complements our love of being naked and in contact with nature.’
Elisangela adds that nudism on the beach does not mean that people ‘should expect to come looking for sex’.
She said: ‘This is a family beach and we pride ourselves in keeping it secure and free of robberies and violence. We have security patrolling the area all the time, so people feel safe and their possessions are kept safe.
‘There has never been any of the sort of problems that are associated with other beaches in Rio such as gangs of violent youths trawling and robbing sunbathers,’ she added.
The area has been used as a skinny-dipping and nude sun-worshippers spot for over 20 years. But it was through the efforts of die-hard members that Abrico beach was officially designated a clothes-free zone by the Rio government in 2014. The 250 square metre rustic stretch of shoreline is Rio’s first and only nudist beach.
‘Many people are surprised that Rio only has one naturist area,’ revealed Elisangela.
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