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  • Writer's pictureIsabela Camargos

Nationals 2023 Opening Ceremony: Welcome to Rio

This Saturday morning, May 20th, marked the official start of the second Final Four Tournament, for futsal and volleyball — this time, the event takes place at the Gávea Campus of the Escola Americana do Rio de Janeiro (EARJ); the same location of last year's RioMUN, in which EABH also participated. The opening ceremony was scheduled for 8:15am at the school's gymnasium. The Hawks excitedly arrived on campus before 8am, after a bus ride composed of motivational chants and anxious small talk.

When the time came, the Opening Ceremony started with a short speech given by the EARJ tournament organizer, thanking the participants and welcoming all to beautiful Rio. Following, each school was introduced to each other and the public. The schools qualified to participate in the championship alongside EABH are: Graded, Nations, Chapel, OLM, Saint Paul's, Sant'Anna and EARJ — most have brought one or two teams to compete, while our Hawks state their presence in three.

After each school paraded its teams in a lap around the gym (the Hawks, over the sound of We Will Rock You, of course), the Head of EARJ gave a moving speech about athletic respect and introduced the AASB values: positive behavior and respect for everyone. To close the ceremony, the EARJ cheerleaders, flexible middle schoolers, offered a presentation of their school's chants and a pop-song medley. All athletes rose to sing the Brazilian and American national anthems and the competition was, at last, declared to have officially begun. Go Hawks!

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