As previously announced, Zach Roloff and the crew for Little People, Big World will be in Belfast, Ireland for the 2009 World Dwarf games which run from July 26th to August 2nd.
As you can see from the article about the Portland Timbers visiting the Roloff farms and Zach's soccer team, The Statesman, the Roloffs are already preparing. There are more sports than just soccer, but everybody who watches Little People, Big World knows there is only really one sport that matters to Zach and the Roloffs.
Who will Zach be competing against? That is both interesting and disappointing.
Apparently there are 15 countries that are going to be competing at the World Dwarf Games including: USA, Canada, Germany, Spain, France, Russia, UK, Austrailia, Ireland, Nigeria, Benin, Turkey, Denmark and Ghanna.
Unfortunately, Brazil is not listed as participating. I say disappointing, because in 2008 and team of all dwarf players in Brazil generated some attention.
They call themselves 'The Giants of the North'. They're managed by a professional coach. They regularly compete and defeat teams composed of 13 year old average sized Brazilian kids. Considering how soccer-mad Brazil is, beating 13 year old Brazilian kids sounds like quite an accomplishment for a team comprised of all dwarves. Those games used full size goals.
Wouldn't it have been fun to see how Zach's team stacked up against the mighty Brazilians? It's disappointing if that Brazilian dwarf soccer team does not compete at the World Dwarf Games. It would be like an Olympic Hockey tournament that doesn't include Canada or Russia.
It's unfortunate that some sponsorship money couldn't have been found to send that team from Brazil to the Dwarf games. Perhaps if the Roloffs have any excess sponsorship money that they successfully raised to send Zach and his teammates to the World Dwarf Games, they could look into what it would take to get this team from Brazil to the Belfast for the games. It would probably be quite a thrill for Zach to say he competed against the soccer powerhouse from Brazil.
Here is a nice article about the Brazilian team. They were formed to raise awareness about dwarfism in Brazil.
Brazilian dwarves who are giants of football
By Lucy Cockroft
Published: 9:08AM BST 08 Apr 2008
Brazilians have long held a reputation for being the giants of football, now they can also lay claim to being the first country with a team made up entirely of dwarves.
The players may be lacking in height, but after choosing the team name Gigantes do Norte - the Giants of the North - it appears they have a generous sense of humour.
Managed by professional coach Carlos Lucena, the Giants were put together in an effort to raise the profile of dwarves in Brazilian society and challenge "sizeist" attitudes.
The average size of the team is about 4ft, while the smallest player is just 3ft 3in.
Together the 11 dwarves play in Belem, north-east Brazil, taking on youth teams in 40-minute matches.
The diminutive team use full size goals, but this hasn’t proved to be a setback for their 4ft 7in keeper who managed to keep a clean sheet in their last match, beating the opposition by 4-0.
Their friendly game was against the Barcarena under-13 team, in the Barcarenao Stadium at the mouth of the Amazon River.
As is common in the beautiful game in Brazil, the players take nicknames.
Brazilian striker Ronaldo is known as "The Phenomenon" while star player of the Giants, Cazemiro Ribeiro, is called "Vagner Love".
The smallest players in the English premier league are Tottenham Hotspur’s Aaron Lennon and Chelsea winger Shaun Wright-Phillips. Both are 5ft 5in.
And there are videos of the Brazilian team. These guys are good! It's inspiring to hear the one player speak about how the team has changed his life and increased his confidence.
This is more of an introduction to the team:
This shows the games. Check out #9.