(CNN)In less than one year, Rio de Janeiro will host the 2016 Olympic Games. It will also shine the spotlight on some uniquely Brazilian sports and athletes who wouldn't mind a bit of the Olympic glory themselves.
Traditional Brazilian sports bidding for Olympic limelight
On the beach, visitors will discover footvolley -- kind of like beach volleyball, but players can't use their hands or arms to smack the ball over the net. Feet, chest and head tend to be the tools of choice.
"We're fighting to make it an Olympic sport," footvolley enthusiast Ricardo Martins told CNN after a grueling match of two-on-two. "It's beautiful to play and watch."
Footvolley, "futevolei" in Portuguese, was invented in Rio in the 1960s when beachgoers were banned from playing football on the sands. These days it's a common sight from Copacabana to Leblon.
"It's gotten very professional," Martins says.
Of course, it's obvious which country would win if it were included in the Olympics.
Visitors to Rio are also sure to spot the paragliders, as well as hangliders, who swoop down from some of the city's highest points to pristine beaches below.
And yes, they too have Olympic ambitions.
"We have put in an official proposal so that paragliding would be tested to become an Olympic sport," says paragliding pilot Erico Oliveira, of Action Fly.
"It works a lot like a sailing regatta," he explains. "There is a starting point and then you fly to a series of cities over say 50, 80, 150 kilometers and the first to the finish wins."
And of course, I have to give it a try, with the help of Oliveira in a double jump.
After a stumbling, slightly terrifying jog into the abyss, I am gliding through the air, tacking back and forth on the air currents over Sao Conrado Beach.
Another uniquely Brazilian sport is capoeira.
An acrobatic mix of martial arts and dance performed to the twangy music of a "berimbau" -- a single-string percussion instrument.
As in other martial arts, you are granted belts of differing colors as you advance.
But capoeira was developed by African slaves in the 16th century as a way to practice fighting, but disguise it as a dance so that slave masters wouldn't punish them.
According to mestre Enrique Anistasio de Jesus, there is a vocal group of capoeira experts that is keen to push for capoeira to become a more competitive sport -- even an Olympic sport.
But he disagrees.
"It's difficult to imagine a competition with points for this or that, who wins, who loses," he says. "But it's part of our culture."
A culture that will be on display across the city in 2016.