Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 16th October 2013: The City of Belo Horizonte and the State Government of Minas Geraishave today signed a landmark agreement with the British Olympic Association [BOA] that will see Team GB train, prepare and acclimatise in the Brazilian city in the run up to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The official Memorandum of Understanding [MoU] was signed today by BOA Chairman, Lord Sebastian Coe, Mayor of Belo Horizonte, Marcio Lacerda and State Governor of Minas Gerais, Antônio Anastasia. The agreement includes a commitment by all parties to create a programme for exchanging cultural experiences and expertise to help ensure a lasting legacy of international sporting events for the region.

The signing took place at Minas Tênis Clube – the state of the art, multi-purpose sports facility that Team GB athletes will use as their training base in the city.

Ideally located in the centre of Brazil and only a one hour flight from Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Brasília, Belo Horizonte is home to one of the first stadia to be ready for the FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 and will host six matches during the 2014 FIFA World Cup™, including a Semi-Final.

Today’s signing now confirms Belo Horizonte as a major city in the preparations for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games and a major centre in the delivery of the world’s two biggest sporting events.

Marcio Lacerda, Mayor of Belo Horizonte, said: “We are honoured and delighted that Lord Coe and the BOA have chosen to base themselves in Belo Horizonte as they train and prepare for Rio 2016.

“Our preparations for next year’s FIFA World Cup are going extremely well and today’s announcement shows that we are already planning our next steps for the benefit of the city and our people by welcoming the British Olympic Association to Belo Horizonte.

“This is a great moment for our city and we will ensure that every member of Team GB are welcomed with open arms and provided with the best facilities and support to help them prepare for the biggest moments of their sporting lives.”

Lord Sebastian Coe, BOA Chairman, said: “It is a great pleasure to be here in Belo Horizonte at Minas Tênis Clube to forge our new partnership with the club, the city and the state of Minas Gerais. We believe we have found the best possible environment for our athletes to prepare for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and all the partners have shown their commitment to understanding and meeting our needs.

“This is a very exciting day for Team GB and an important moment as we build the bridge from London 2012 to Rio 2016. A great deal of work has already gone in to get us to this stage of our planning for the Games and we are looking forward to a close working relationship with all of our local partners and friends here in Belo Horizonte.”