Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Chariot racing in Brazil

Brazilian sugar-cane farmer Luiz Augusto Alves de Oliveira has built a hippodrome and is seeking to revive the ancient sport of chariot racing:

The Brazilian Mr. de Oliveira's career as a charioteer began about 10 years ago while he was recovering from a motorcycle accident and had nothing to do but watch the Charlton Heston Ben-Hur over and over. When he finally got back on his feet, Mr. de Oliveira set about working with field hands and friends to build and race aluminum chariots.

Neighbors such as Heloísa Consoni were apprehensive at first about the goings-on at Mr. de Oliveira's ranch. "We weren't sure if he meant to bring in lions and gladiators, too," Mrs. Consoni says. But now she is a fan. "How can you not love that speed?" she says.

The New Ben-Hurs: Chariot Racing Stages a Comeback (Wall Street Journal)

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