Brazil couldn't afford to send their athletes to the 1932 Olympics. They found an ingenious way to send them
The 1932 Olympics, held in Los Angeles were historic for Brazil for a few reasons. First, is that the country had recently been hit by the Great Depression. The second, is that the Brazilian delegation included swimmer Maria Lenk, who was the FIRST South American woman to compete in the Olympics.
Because of the economic crisis, Brazil didn't have the money to send their athletes through traditional means. They came up with an ingenious solution: they sent them all on a boat filled with coffee and told them to sell it along the way to fund the trip! The ship, the Itaquice took them all the way to the Port of Los Angeles, where they were supposed to disembark.
Not all the athletes got their dream of participating in the Olympics, though. The port charged $1 per person to disembark, so the delegation only let the athletes that they thought would have a better chance at getting a medal off the boat, and also Maria Lenk. The ship then went to San Francisco to sell more coffee.
In the end, out of the 82 athletes that went, only 67 competed in the Olympics, and Brazil won NO medals at all. Maybe it was karma for not letting everyone out? How would you have felt if you were one of the 15 people left on board?