- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 11, 2016

Helo Pinheiro, the woman who was the inspiration for the bossa nova classic “The Girl From Ipanema,” isn’t too thrilled with how Olympics organizers incorporated the song into opening ceremonies in Rio de Janeiro last week, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

A stunningly gorgeous gymnast who frequented the iconic Rio beach in the mid-1960s, Ms. Pinheiro, née Helena, caught the eyes of songwriting duo composer Antonio Carlos “Tom” Jobim and lyricist Vinicius de Moraes, and the rest is history.

Ms. Pinheiro “said in an interview she felt saddened that the ceremony didn’t openly acknowledge the contributions of Mr. de Moraes,” the Journal explained. “And she was miffed that [supermodel Gisele] Bündchen was used as a stand-in for the original ‘tall and tan and young and lovely’ muse.”

Ms. Bundchen, unlike Ms. Pinheiro, does not hail from Rio de Janeiro but rather “Brazil’s southernmost state, Rio Grande do Sul, bordering Argentina and Uruguay,” noted the Journal.

Despite being the muse for the song, Ms. Pinheiro was curiously overlooked by organizers of the Rio games, CNN reported last Friday.

“I would have loved to have seen [Ms. Bundchen] playing me in the (Maracanã) stadium, but I wasn’t invited,” CNN quoted the 71-year-old, who owns a Rio bikini shop named, what else, Garota de Ipanema.

Of course, “She said she still gets many visitors who want to pose for photos, and many of them wonder how she still looks so good at age 71,” NBC Miami reported earlier this month.

“I make gym, I make dance. It’s good for my health and my mind,” Pinheiro told the station. “When people say you are so nice and your body looks like girls (who are) 35-years-old, I’m proud because of this.”

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