Anderson Silva wants to swap to Taekwondo to compete in Rio 2016
Anderson Silva, well known in the martial arts world for being a former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) champion, is seriously considering taking part in the Taekwondo competition at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Silva, who is 5th-degree black belt in Taekwondo, penned a letter to the president of the Brazilian Taekwondo Federation (CBTKD), Carlos Fernandes, expressing his desire to compete for the national team in the 2016 Summer Games.
“Everybody knows that the Olympic Games are a dream for every athlete,” Silva wrote in the letter published by newspaper O Globo. “When [CBTKD President] Carlos Fernandes was named ambassador of the sport in Brazil, that feeling got stronger and, with the competition being in my country, that Olympic spirit got me really motivated.
“It’s going to be a big pleasure for me to be part of that gold team, so I register officially in this letter my desire to represent taekwondo and Brazil in the Rio Olympic Games.”
Fernandes stated that he will meet with Silva this week but made clear that, if “The Spider” accepts, the 40-year-old fighter will have to participate in the national trials. As the host nation, Brazil is granted the right to issue four special invitations — two female and two male — but last week, CBTKD announced that one of those invites will be given to Lucas Oliveira.
Silva is currently serving a temporary suspension from the Nevada Athletic Commission after testing positive for multiple banned substances following his win over Nick Diaz at UFC 183. He is expected to be formally disciplined at a hearing next month, though any suspension issued by the NAC would not necessarily affect Silva’s Olympic eligibility.
Silva’s longtime friend and training partner Antonio Rogerio Nogueira brought Brazil a bronze medal in boxing at the 2007 Pan American Games, the same competition where Ronda Rousey won gold for USA in judo.