Sunday, August 21, 2016

Gold In Rio As Time In Brazil Comes To A Close

My time in Rio has come to an end with an exciting final few days of action. As you know by now the USA Women won gold for the second straight Olympics becoming the first ever team in women's water polo to do that. With the win comes a ton of media exposure, as evidenced by the photo above which is the set for Ryan Seacrest's last night show here in Rio.

After the big win it is mayhem. As the media waits patiently the players scatter to meet with parents and take pictures etc. Eventually they go through a host of tv and print interviews. That's followed by a visit to the International Broadcast Center for more interviews and video features. After a quick stop to see family it was back on the road for three of the athletes to visit the Seacrest show.

The following day there was an opportunity to go on SportsCenter with soccer great Julie Foudy. The set for ESPN and other non rights holders can be small but the views are usually pretty cool and that was the case here. A great shot of the Olympic park. In addition to all of that video there were tons of well written articles about the team that came out in the last few days. Be sure to check the @USAWP Twitter feed for a lot of those great features.

Once all of that was done there wasn't a whole lot of time left in Rio but finally we went to a real Brazilian churrascaria. This is one of those places where the different meats don't stop until you put up the stop sign. It was very good. At many points you don't even know what meat you are eating but it's like "sure add this to my plate." It's funny as the servers are inches away from your head carving a piece of ham. You have to feel for the guy sent out there with chicken. I love chicken in many forms but at a place like this almost nobody wants the chicken. He wanders around praying somebody will take the chicken off his hands but no dice.

In addition to all the meats they bring out random plates of french fries, onion rings and rice. China buffet aficionados will recognize this as a well placed trap! In addition to the salad bar there are these other items designed to keep you from maximum meat consumption. The choice is yours.

After all the meats subsided they brought out a dessert tray with some great items. You were going purely on sight as our waiter explained everything in Portuguese, thankfully in any language I know an ice cream sundae when I see one.  Overall a great meal. Also a move I've noticed in Brazil is waiters will bring around drinks even if you didn't want, kind of like an impulse buy. This works very well for beer, they bring beers to people who didn't even know they wanted them and boom now it's on your check.

As we wrap up in Rio some other things to mention. At the mall across the street there is a massive ball pit. You just don't see these anymore in the US. I remember them being so much. Are they in anyway hygenic? No sir, but I would have hoped there was some technology for a self cleaning ball pit that has come along in the last 20 years.

Uber is the way to go here as I have mentioned before but wherever you are driving, after 10pm red lights are merely stop signs. I think in some areas this is probably a safety precaution but it sure does speed up the ride. I used the bus/subway system for the first time a few days back and it worked out really well. Also a note on the people here, 99 percent that I have come across have been super friendly and helpful. Everything may not have run as smooth as possible but it didn't dampen their spirit.

You have certainly seen people selling flowers at a stop light in the US or people trying to watch your window. The other day I noticed a much more organized business. People would drape bags of candy (I think it was candy) over each car's drivers side mirror going about 5 or 6 cars deep. Then they'd run back near the light and by that time people had decided if they wanted to buy or not (I saw no buyers). Before the light changed green they'd pull all the bags off the cars and do it again. See photo below.

Well that's all for my time in Rio, thanks for reading and apologies there weren't more blog posts. As I look back on 2008 and 2012 the more social media and video grow the less time there seems to be to document the everyday events that make up a trip like this. Hopefully this gave you a small look into life at the Olympics.

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