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Source: www.insidethegames.com

By Duncan Mackay at SportAccord in London

Crystal Palace National Park, London.Brazil is to use the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre as its training base for the London 2012 Games, it has been announced.

More than 200 Brazilian competitors are expected to use the South London facility before and during the Games under an agreement signed by Carlos Nuzman, President of both the Rio 2016 Organising Committee and the Brazilian Olympic Committee, and Crystal Palace operators GLL Sport Foundation.

"Signing this historic agreement is a major step in the preparation plans for Team Brazil in 2012, while also laying the foundations for Brazil's planning for the 2016 Games," said Nuzman, who signed the official agreement during SportAccord here.

"We are confident that Crystal Palace National Sports Centre will offer the best possible training and preparation environment for our athletes, enabling them to achieve the best possible sporting results.

"In addition, the sports centre will house all members of the Brazilian delegation not accredited to the Olympic Village such as doctors, assistant coaches and physiotherapists - forming the headquarters for Brazil during the London Games."

The agreement to establish a 2012 HQ next summer will be the first time this style of preparation base has used by Brazil, who are hoping for a good performance to help set them up for Rio 2016.

A full range of Olympic athletes and technical staff will be hosted at the Centre, including volleyball, beach volleyball, handball, basketball, taekwondo, boxing, athletics, swimming and diving.

Brazil sent a team of 277 competitors to Beijing, who competed in 24 sports.

They finished 23rd in the overall medals table with 15 medals, including three gold.

Carlos_Nuzman_visiting_Crystal_Palace_April_2011
The National Sports Centre is currently the subject of interest from the local Championship club, Crystal Palace, who want it as a replacement for their current stadium at Selhurst Park.

But local officials are delighted that the deal with Brazil means that they will have some involvement in London 2012.

"This is great news for London," said London Development Agency chief executive Peter Rogers.

"By coming to Crystal Palace, Brazil's Olympians will enjoy some of the best sporting facilities in Britain as they prepare for London 2012.

"The London Development Agency has invested over £17 million ($28 million) bringing the National Sports Centre up to modern international standards.

"This investment is now being enjoyed by world class athletes and the local community alike."

Further preparation camps are also already being planned between GLL and the Brazilian Olympic Committee for 2011 and beyond 2012.

"This is a fantastic opportunity to embrace the Olympic message in the local community as well as to forge international links with the host nation for 2016," said Peter Bundey, the GLL director.

"We are confident that Crystal Palace will deliver the ideal base for Brazil's top class athletes."