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I have recently learned that Brazil has a very thorough VISA approval process. Unfortunately, I was not able to make my trip to Sao Paulo, Brazil last weekend to compete in the Brazil Invitational Deadlift Competition. I ran into a VISA problem as my VISA was not obtained in time to make the trip. I have made 25 International trips to date, and have never run into this problem. In short summary…. the fee schedule for an athlete/tourist VISA has changed from the information that I was able to obtain from the Brazil Consulate General web site. My application was sent back requesting additional payment. I sent the additional payment back by overnight mail 10 days prior to departure date, but the Brazilian Consulate General failed to expedite application. Evidently they have a very strict 7 working day processing policy. I had to cancel my airline ticket at the last minute. I am a little embarrassed by this situation as I have often blogged, and provided advice to other athletes about how to successfully travel and compete in foreign lands. Readers beware… it’s best to start early when making application for a VISA request to travel to Brazil.
Not being able to travel and compete in Brazil was a big disappointment to say the least. To add fuel to the fire…Minnesota got walloped by a 17 inch snow storm and blizzard this past weekend. Rather than competing in 80 degree Brazil; I spent Sunday and Monday digging out, and shoveling off the roof. Winter is here in SW Minnesota as it was -13F on Monday morning. On a positive note, my training leading up to the event went very well. I am hopeful for a strong competition season in 2013 starting with the GNC Pro Performance Deadlift Invitational at the Arnold Fitness Expo.
There are always going to be setbacks on the road ahead. As an athlete that has been competing for a long time my advice is to stay focused, re-evaluate and continue to stay strong when faced with adversity. Train smart, stay healthy, set your goals high, and don't forget to add GNC Pro Performance HMB to your supplement list! Good luck in meeting your strength and fitness goals!!!