Friday, August 19, 2016

Day 14: Rio

Day 14: Rio

Weather: Hot, HOT, HOT

When she walks, she's like a samba
That swings so cool and sways so gentle that
When she passes, each one she passes goes

Where is everybody?

This is THB's fave event, takes place over two days and the guys who medal are unbelievable athletes

Doesn't matter where our real seats are, we are now sitting wherever we want (like pretty much all Brazilians)

THB thinks he showered and shaved and ate breakfast this morning.

The commute to the O Stadium breaks the old record, we’re in our seats in 1 hour 25 minutes, in time to see the Decathlon start with the 100Ms. Except, we’re not in our seats: for the second day in a row we walk into the lower level and sit in A level seats perfect for watching the morning events, except for the M Steeplechase final. The stands are once awash with empty seats. Soooooooo many empty seats.

How do you get a hammer out of a net?

Lower the net!

This string hanging down indicates THB's fave section

Won gold in London...Rio?

Ashton Eaton is back and trying to repeat as the best athlete in the world. After two events, he’s off to a great start. THB does not recognize any of the other competitors, from London or otherwise.
Ashton off to a good start, 2nd fastest time overall

The M's 5000M is in am, good for them since it is hot

US has been unusually strong in the longer races

Eaton in 2nd place, Warner lookin' good

The M’s 5K heats are interesting: they are really semi-finals, with 5 auto-qualifiers from each heat and then best 5 times. Some familiar names: Mo Farah is trying again for double Gold, and Bernard Lagat of the USA. The temperature is escalating as well, so putting the heats in the morning is a good thing (and good for us!).


Another good event for Eaton (his wife, representing Canada, won Bronze in Heptathlon)

Jager runs under the Olympic Record and "only" finishes second

For the M’s Steeplechase, we go sit in a section near our ticketed seats, right in front of the water hurdle. Great…except for all the photographers blocking the fans from seeing the runners hit the water. A Kenyan, Kaputo, wins in Olympic Record time and Evan Jager of the US runs a great race to finish second, also in OR time.

15 items or less line, THB stopped counting after 20 items for this couple

The only event remaining in the morning is the Decathlon shot, so we entrust the lead to Ashton and since we only have two events today, we return to the apartment for lunch and naps. Top shelf: last of roti-chicken, some cheese, olives, toasted baguette, ice tea and coca light.

One of the few adjustments made at O Stadium: yep, your elevator doesn't go to the top floor (tickets in upper deck are in 500s)

Dinner: well balanced with popcorn AND nuts

Another relatively easy commute back for evening, less than an hour and half from door to our “seats”.

THB isn't sure what this means, maybe they are keeping miscreants behind bars in Men's banheiro

They could've put them in this section instead

THB is including pics of all the medal ceremonies

Along with the Decathlon, tonight’s session is also fabulous. This time we sit in our assigned section (moving around a bit to maximize views) in the upper deck. Great shot at watching down stretch and finish line and Decathlon’s High Jump, which is the only event going when we arrive. There’s a break in the action, then events come on quickly (and not so overlapping, so easier to follow individuals).

One day in the books, becoming clearer who is competing for a medal

By 8:20, the stands are slightly more full than last night’s cavernous emptiness. And, by the time we leave at 11pm, it’s maybe 15% full because they don’t announce that there’s another race, W Hurdles, after Bolt’s 200M semi-final, and thus most of the locals leave and miss the USA going 1-2-3.

One of the most exciting field events ever: lead changing practically with every jump 

Instead of announcing what’s coming, they are now asking the fans to show respect for the competitors just before medal ceremonies. Guess all the booing has been noticed by the powers that be. Actually, it may be the first time it appeared anyone was in charge. THB is starting to formulate Observations and one that has finally crystalized: no one here in Rio seems too concerned with efficiency, either at O’s or in general. More to come on this topic.
Reese can't repeat Gold, settles for silver; for you old-time basketball fans, she could be Avery Johnson's sister

The Jamaicans own the sprints

Now, back to the Games: the W’s Long Jump competition is a thriller. In Round 5, down to 8 jumpers, the standings of top 3 changes with almost every jump. Eventually, when that round finishes, the US is in top 2 positions. Bolt does his thing, and then USA women crush the field in the 100M Hurdles.
The locals clean up after themselves, very nice

Clearly not a local

Not this guy either

THB and DA have true commute karma: from Stadium to apartment, we’re back in exactly 1 hour: the train departs the minute we get on, mildly crowded, getting seats on a metro train that leaves the minute we get on. We’re stunned. Not too stunned to enjoy Brazil beating Argentina 3-1 in M’s VB quarterfinal. Match-ups are set: USA gets Italy and Brazil vs Russia. 

Somebody stole this guy's laces

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