Advice on 2013 worlds in Porto Alegre: best flights and visas, etc.

Dave Ortman in Seattle has done some research on the WMA world meet next year in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Here is what he found (with a West Coast perspective): “Flights: WMA has managed to select a city that adds significantly to the cost of getting there. Frequent Flyer awards: There are no frequent flyer awards to Porto Alegre, Brazil for either United or Delta. Both fly to Sao Paulo, Brazil.  So you could use FF awards to get to Sao Paulo and then pay an extra $240 RT or so to and from  Porto Alegre. United: I do not believe that United has a carrier connection to Porto Alegre so you would likely need to make separate arrangements with the in-country carrier. Delta: Delta does have a carrier connection to Porto Alegre (but no frequent flyer arrangement). The regular Delta RT Seattle-Porto Alegre runs a bit over $1,000 a the moment (although you can’t make actual reservations until mid-Novmeber or so).  If someone has another carrier consolidator or bucket option, it would be good to know.”

Dave continues:

In addition, due to U.S. paranoia, visitors to the U.S. are charged outrageous visa fees, hassled and in some cases banned from entry.  As a result, other countries retaliate and Brazil charges $180 for a visa (plus, it appears an additional $20 fee).  A visa can only be obtained from the Brazil Consulate in our region (in our case that means San Francisco).

if you cannot get to the Consulate in person, the application can be submitted in person by a third party, such as a friend, a relative or a visa agency. An additional absentee fee is charged if you do not bring your application in person. Such fee is waived if you are applying on behalf of your spouse, father, mother, son, daughter, brother or sister.

One visa agency I found charges $49 to obtain the visa for you and another $26 to ship.

So the cheapest visa agency option seems to be $255 (perhaps an addition $20 for not appearing in person).  This is cheaper that flying/driving down to San Francisco, unless you already have other business there.

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October 17, 2012

31 Responses

  1. Bubba Sparks - October 18, 2012

    This is really quite the mess. Turin will draw every European yet the medical testing requirement and extensive travel expense will exclude many. Brazil is inconvenient, unfriendly AND expensive. I’m going to both because I turn 60 right before Turin but WOW, I’m afraid of the sticker shock of shipping my poles. It was $1,900 to Sydney in 2009 for WMG. That’s why I didn’t do either nationals last year nor will I do indoors next year – SAVING!! 😉

  2. Bubba Sparks - October 18, 2012

    Here is the WMG schedule –

  3. Tommy Aunan - October 18, 2012

    Obviously holding a World Masters Track and Field Championship in Porto Alegre, Brazil is not USA user friendly by a longshot. But I plan to go anyway.

  4. David E. Ortman (M59) Seattle, WA - October 18, 2012

    At least WMA-Brazil 2013 has posted a schedule. It’s nearly November and the National Senior Games in Cleveland next year in July still hasn’t posted any dates for their T&F meet. Therefore, impossible to make plans. Stunningly athlete unfriendly.

  5. Bubba Sparks - October 19, 2012

    Unfortunately David they do that every time! HATE it!! I lived in Houston when it was there and I couldn’t even get inside info.

  6. john parks - October 19, 2012

    Anyone have a results page for Brazil?

  7. peter taylor - October 19, 2012

    Bubba, you are a wild and crazy guy. A price of $1900.00 for shipping your poles to a track meet, wow. I would have guessed $185 at maximum. Guess that is why I don’t work for the airlines.

    The year 2013 should be a wild one. I can’t remember what I predicted as a turnout for Brazil worlds — I think I said somewhere near 3600. Regardless, after the disastrous showing in Puerto Rico in 2003 and the subpar turnout for Sacramento in 2011 (4804), it would be sad to have anything below 5000 in 2013, but that seems inevitable.

    Hard to remember the days when a turnout at worlds of below 5200 would have been considered shocking. Let’s see:

    Durban (1997) had 5788
    Gateshead (1999) had 5949
    Spain (2005) had 6033
    Sacramento (2011) had 4804 or so

    Porto Alegre (2013) From what I have heard on this site about the difficulties presented by this meet, I now believe it can get no more than 3450.

    Amazing, as the years go by and the earth’s population grows by leaps and bounds, it appears that our turnouts for worlds will be dropping rather quickly.

    Well, there is always Cleveland Nat’l Sr Games (see David Ortman, above). That will have a huge turnout for the track and field events. There is also Olathe, Kansas, for 2013 outdoor nationals. Should be quite a year.

  8. Mary Harada - October 19, 2012

    So – Olathe – have they solved the Hammer cage problem for that meet? RE Turin and Porto Alegre – probably I will skip both of those – but just as an aside – if thinking of going to Porto Alegre – look into flying to Buenos Aires first and then to Porto Alegre – that might work for some – or even to Montevideo and then to Porto Alegre. One would need a visa for Argentina – you can get it at the airport when you arrive – and no visa is needed for Uruguay – but you still need a visa for Brazil.
    I am not going to waste my time with my health insurance company with trying to get them to pay for a medically unnecessary exercise stress test nor for the physical needed for Italy – please – health care is expensive enough without all that stuff. Add to that the cost of the WMG entry fee/hotels/ air fare – I will have a heart attack just thinking about it. As for Brazil – not saying no – but will have to think hard about that. There will be many South and Central Americans there – not so many from elsewhere. I would love to know how those facilities are shaping up- or not.

  9. peter taylor - October 19, 2012

    Can’t help you much, Mary, regarding the nationals in Olathe. From what I know, the meet organizers want to go in front of National Senior Games, which would mean a 4-day meet ending NLT July 18, 2013. Yikes, that’s less than 9 months away.

    Our nationals are not listed on the USATF schedule, and thus I must conclude that the hammer problem at the host site has not been resolved.

    There is a chance that I will be asked to announce the Olatha meet, and thus I must register my preference for a morning-evening schedule. This past July, as you know, Mary, was quite hot. Average daily high in Olathe for the month was 99.1. However, the previous year (2011) found the month of July to be considerably less oppressive, with an average high in Olathe of just 96.4.

  10. Arthur Nelson - October 19, 2012

    I keep seeing this reference to a sports physical being required in regards to Turin, but have been unable to verify this requirement via the Torino 2013 site. Can someone please point me in the right direction where to find the official reference to this requirement.

  11. tb - October 19, 2012

    What is the hammer cage problem in Olathe? I know a group planning on going just for hammer.

  12. Grant Lamothe - October 19, 2012

    This is mainly in response to Pete Taylor’s post (#7).

    As I remember, the number of participants in the track and field events at the last World Masters Games in Sydney, Australia in 2009 were about 3300 or so. Which is the same number, more or less, that Pete is predicting to show up for the one-and-only WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS HELD ONLY EVERY 2 YEARS for track and field scheduled for next year in Porto Allegre, Brazil. Kind of sad, I think. But: it has to make us track enthusiasts think about how our sport fits into the world-wide demographic. All constructive thoughts will be appreciated -feel free to comment, please.

  13. Grant Lamothe - October 19, 2012

    Addendum: Sorry, I meant to say I was responding to Pete Taylor’s post #8.

  14. Mark Cleary - October 20, 2012

    Olathe Kansas did not have a legal Hammer cage when they were awarded the bid two years ago it was contingent on them getting one–they have shown that they have an invoice for the cage-it just needs to be installed.They know that this is a deal breaker if they don’t get it in–so it will happen-but there was some concern because they had not shown USATf the purchase order until recently.

  15. peter taylor - October 20, 2012

    Thanks, Mark, for that information. I wish that USATF would follow up by putting the Olathe meet on the schedule. After all, it’s our national championship. In addition, would like to see National Senior Games put up a schedule of the track and field events in that meet.

  16. Gary Dixon - October 20, 2012

    As far as the medical tests for Turin go (Post # 10): I did some emailing back and forth with Marcello from the WMG in Turino regarding if there was another, more detailed form, for the required medical testing for the games. I kind of assumed they (WMG/Italy) would want a form listing the results of the tests. But NO, the form on the website will do as long as it is signed by your doctor. So that leaves some “wiggle” room if you have a good relationship with your doctor. (If you catch my meaning)

    (From Marcello: “doctor’s signature on that form will mean that you passed all the tests, so he can declare that your examinations are good and that you are healthy and physically fit to compete at WMG Torino 2013.”)

  17. Gary Snyder - October 20, 2012

    I believe the 2013 schedule is here:

    Gary Snyder

  18. peter taylor - October 20, 2012

    Thanks, Gary. I was looking at the regular USATF Web site. That site does not list the Olathe meet.
    In addition, for Albuquerque indoors (2011) it says that “All 60m races are currently under review” even though it’s been more than a year and a half since those races were run. Oh, well.

  19. Arthur Nelson - October 20, 2012

    Thanks Gary (post# 16). I did find the specific reference to the requirement on the WMG Torino site. It is buried in the “News” section. I would think they would want this information on the homepage given the significance of this requirement. IMHO, this requirement is quite burdensome and expensive, unless you have an extremely “friendly” relationship with your doctor. Should be interesting to see how this impacts turnout from the States.

  20. David E. Ortman (M59) Seattle, WA - October 20, 2012

    Response to Post #17. The website lists the USAT&F National Masters 2013 meet in Olathe, KS (with no further link) as July 18-21.

    The National Senior Games dates are listed as July 21-August 1.

    How is it that with the entire summer available, USAT&F and the NSG managed to pick dates making it extremely difficult if not impossible to attend both?

    The NSG dates include all 19 “sports” offered:
    Archery, Badminton, Basketball, Bowling, Cycling, Golf, Horseshoes, Pickleball, Race Walk, Racquetball, Road Race, Shuffleboard, Softball, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Track & Field, Triathlon, and Volleyball.

    but no specific dates for any of these “sports” including track & field.

    What NSG refuses to do, however, is let T&F athletes know WHEN their age group meet will take place. Without these dates, no travel plans can be made. NSG-Cleveland has had over two years to plan. Yes, they have 19 “sports” to keep an eye on, but continued failure to post T&F meet dates does not generate confidence.

    The NSG does have one advantage over WMA-Brazil. The NSG actually holds two track and field meets, one for age groups 50-64 and one for 65+. This means that you do not have to stick around for two weeks like you do for WMA-Brazil. WMA should consider this same format (perhaps holding M/W35-59 one week and M/W60+ the second week).

  21. Robert Thomas - October 20, 2012

    For those that are interested, here is the medical form that you need to have filled out by a medical doctor to participate in the 2013 World Masters Games. The first two links are the form itself, and the terms and conditions. The third link is the whole information page.

  22. Barry Gives - October 20, 2012

    There are some misleading info presented by the author of the article. First off, United uses TAM to fly to Porto Alegre (POA) from Sao Paulo. Every time I’ve looked at fare, you can fly to Porto Alegre no problem. Secondly, there’s a Brazilian consulate in Beverly Hills and it will cost $160 and if there’s an appearance fee, around $20 so $180 might be accurate. You better do accurate checking though before posting bad information though.

  23. Barry Givens - October 20, 2012

    Dave, you need better information because you’re inaccurate. I was just on the United website, and I’m able to book a flight from Orange County to Porto Alegre, BRA. They use TAM once you’re in Sao Paulo. There is also a consulate in Beverly Hills and it will cost $160 and if there’s an appearance fee of $20, then fine. Just, please provide accurate information before you start scarring off people.

  24. Barry Givens - October 20, 2012

    I just proved myself wrong. I didn’t realize United didn’t have the service to Porto Alegre like they have. There is a consulate though here in Beverly Hills.

  25. Mary Harada - October 21, 2012

    I have a very nice primary care physician but I do not think she will sign off on a physical form without having the tests done – she is young, bright, and no fool. That leaves WMG out for me.
    And btw – as for the numbers at the WMG in Sydney – were they including the numbers for the x-c and the road races – both of which were primarily all comers races? The x-c race initially was scheduled to have everyone – more than 1000 – start at once on a fairly narrow x-c course – they ended up splitting the race into ./f races – did so at the last moment changing the time and day so it conflicted with a longer track race (I think the 5k) and it was a bit of a mess. The only way to score in your age group was to crowd to the front. Some of the men missed the start of their race and were allowed to race with the women. The road race was a very large race with many locals turning up.
    Just saying – the numbers do not tell all. But – otherwise the Aussies were very well organized and I enjoyed the meet. 3000+ for track and field – hum – maybe counting the x-c and road race.
    As for Brazil – no matter how you get there – via Rio, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires – and you can take a bus from Buenos Aires – not sure how long a ride but they have very nice long distance buses – it will be expensive. The Portuguese spoken in Brazil is not the same as that spoken in Portugal and it is not the same as Spanish. And the Spanish spoken in Argentina is quite different from that spoken elsewhere in South America – Mexico, Central America etc. Just saying – start on those language lessons asap!
    OTOH – the cost of those needless and expensive medical tests for Turin maybe even more than the cost of airfare and visas for Brazil !

  26. Grant Lamothe - October 21, 2012

    Mary, I think 3000 was a feasible number of participants in track and field in Sydney. Definitely way, way more participants than in any USA Masters meet I can remember. Heck, there were over 300 Canadians there and just about all of them did events on the track or in the field. You’re right about Brazilian Portuguese though. It’s way different than Spanish. However, the Brazilians will understand you, usually, if you speak Spanish to them, but expect them to answer you in Portuguese. And, most Brazilians (at least it was the case when I went there in the early ’80’s) don’t speak English. Maybe more do now, but I’d venture to say the majority of Brazilians speak little or no English. Moral: best at least bring a Portuguese phrasebook if you’re going to Brazil. Learning even a little Spanish would help too. And ,BTW, the Spanish from Mexico or from Central America or from Spain is not ‘quite different’ than the Spanish spoken in Argentina or its neighboring South American countries -it’s quite similar. But, the accent is certainly different. Again, if you’re going to Porto Allegre, even a little familiarity with Portuguese and/or Spanish will go a long way.

  27. Mark Cleary - October 24, 2012

    I was told if your flying untied ( who picked up all the continental routes in South America-that the best way to go to Porto Alegre is via Pannama City

  28. Matt Neve - October 25, 2012

    I had looked at flying to Buenos Aires on United, then taking Aerolineas Argentina to Porto Alegre. BA is a great city and a decently short flight between the two cities.

  29. Cornell - October 28, 2012

    Wow, a year ago I was highly motivated for the 2013 season because I’ll be 50. However, with the date change and expenses of Brazil and this new ‘medical testing’ for Turin as well as the apparent overlapping of NSG and Nationals, I’m feeling a bit unenthusiastic about our sport and its handlers.

  30. Anthony Treacher - October 29, 2012

    Join the club.

  31. Mike Fortunato - November 15, 2012

    WMG – Decathlon apparently scheduled for one day only. Not a confidence builder. What, specifically, is the medical requirement for WMG? Thanks.

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