Saturday, August 20, 2016

Day 15: Rio, plus the recreated words for Days 12 and 13

Day 15: Rio

Weather: Hot, then misting late in the night session of T&F, raining by the time we’re walking back to apartment at midnight

But I watch her so sadly
How can I tell her, "I love you?"
Yes, I would give my heart gladly
But each day, when she walks to the sea
She looks straight ahead, not at me

Department of Remembrance: The following are more words about Day 12 and 13. Pics not repeated!

THB is catching up. On what it is not exactly clear, even though whatever follows can no longer be chalked up to lack of sleep. And, thus may also be a bit redundant, which seems crazy since the two all-pics posts had almost no words!
The Aussies are friendly AND generous

THB and DA chat up Aussies while waiting in line to enter O Stadium, they are there for relative running in W’s 1500M. Much talk of Sydney.
The O's are winding down, not much demand for metro cards

There are tons of hawkers walking the trains, no matter how crowded. For sale: beer, water, Halls, candy, popcorn, small bags of candy, guys with headsets. THB buys two bags of popcorn: stale with two or three bits of bacon inside; 70 cents a bag (which means THB paid double, the foreigner rate).

Locals are very courteous on the trains and metro: THB and DA have been offered seats more than once (THB and DA agree it is DA’s new gray beard that makes us look our ages).  Cars are also very clean (as are arenas and stadiums), locals appear to take out their own trash.
Fixing seats at O Stadium

DA and THB are taking advantage of DA’s knees by occasionally going in the priority line (as are a bunch of other really old and infirm people that frighteningly look a lot like DA and THB) to get in shorter security lines. THB has been unable to get a pic of the wanding; sometimes now they just wave DA through (we suspect the wands have run out of juice and there are no batteries to be found).
Transporting disci

While THB posted guys wearing pins, it has almost entirely died out. Was a big O thing up until Beijing and hardly showed up in London and now it is very obscure. Brazilians don’t really seek them out unless they are volunteers, and very few volunteers are seeking anything out, including work.
Complete this phrase (it's hot and she never took off her jacket)

THB and DA sought out buffet and meat several times (the fish is really not very good here unless you like it fried and/or served well done) and in general the food ain’t anything to write home about, especially if your home is in the Bay Area.
THB offered to buy his t-shirt

It’s hard to imagine that a train would leave the station with the doors open. THB was shocked. Maybe it is another local custom? Clearly, crowded trains are not unique, the system is heavily used (along with metro and buses) and the systems have to carry a heavy load. We did see guys pushing and shoving people further into cars in order for train doors to close. Maybe they are more polite when the riders include O attendees.
No, he had not been to Easter Island

As with every O, many people are attending an event for the first (and most likely, only) time. In other O’s, they paid attention. Here they show up late, use their phones for voice (…how aughts!) regardless of others around them, come and go during live action (of course, no volunteer would every actually ask them to wait before walking into the people sitting down), and pretty much sit wherever they want (this changed at VB semi’s, at least partially).

Okay, now back to your regularly scheduled program, Day 15.

Breakfast of All Bran, apple, melon for THB. DA may have had coffee.
A typical morning crowd at T&F

The usual commute out to O Stadium for T&F in the morning. More Decathlon, more Ashton Eaton. An infamous W’s 4X100 relay where the Brazilians interfere with the USA pass. Later at the start of the evening session the USA is given the chance to qualify by time: no problema, they run the fasted time of any of the qualifiers!
Another great time for Eaton

The deepest field in O history (this is page two; all the guys in top 8 hit the qualifying mark or greater)

Honey, do you think we need lotion on?

Big and young

We do not stay for the Decathlon PV; THB has a long story about staying for the same event in Barcelona and never making it out of the Stadium, staying inside for the Evening session as the PV ran later and later and later.
This is NOT a trick pic: the scoreboard actually showed one page overlaid on another and THB got the shot

Not the fastest USA time

The lead runner for Dom Rep has a false start

The rest of the team done for the O's without touching the baton

USA creates false hope of a medal

Clement goes Gold

Between sessions, THB and DA decide to go see the torch. Remember way back on our first Friday here, THB and DA walked all over town and saw the Museum of Tomorrow and a bi-plane? No? Take THB’s word for it. The torch is very close to that part of the downtown waterfront.

The waiter volunteers to take our pic 

DA is buying, THB has no idea what the prices are

We take the train to Centro and start walking. The crowds start building. By the time we get within about 300 meters of where we think the torch is, the streets are closed to cars and the crush of people is getting larger.
THB's first drink, very tart

Pre-game snacks

Waiter spoke no English, nor understood pointing when DA ordered Cabernet

We decide to have lunch, and after turning down an outdoor place that appears to specialize in fish fried so stiff people can pick a large piece up with one hand, we settle on an oasis, Joao de Barro, Brazilian-French fusion, highly rated by Trip Advisor.

Menu mentioned lettuce, it must be back in the kitchen

THB has moved on from limonada

While we look reasonably grubby by O’s standards, this place has table clothes, menus with no prices (maybe the guy thought THB was DA’s date…wait, that was true!), four different pre-game appetizers, and when THB ordered limonada he got an entire pitcher.

DA has not tired of eating meat

THB makes a mistake, thinking Rio is a seaport and maybe the fish is the right choice

DA has shrimp cocktail (the shrimp in the Russian dressing are still warm) and THB orders the tomato salad (a few slices of tomato with oil and vinegar put on the table). From there, DA has filet mignon (though he’s pretty sure that didn’t hold up in translation) and THB has sea bass (very sure it’s not like the sea bass we get) with a capers and mushroom topping accompanied by peas (not great for a guy with essential tremors) and small potato squares.
Very rich, very good, and even with cafe con crema, THB cannot finish it

THB has a cold chocolate crocante for dessert, we each have coffee, a bottle of Italian Spumante that we believe had no alcohol in it, and my date picked up the check (around $200). Well worth the price for the oasis of quiet. We also once again are amazed that in a place some tourists wander into (e.g., many TA reviews), the staff speaks neither English nor Spanish. Another theme of the trip.
What we meandered in line for 45 minutes to see

After a few hours dining, we dive right back into the mass of humanity looking for the torch. Signs help a bit, along with the fact that the world’s largest conga line is heading somewhere close to where the signs are pointing. We get in the line. Forty five minutes later, we’ve found the torch. Thousands of people are wandering around, almost none of them actually looking at the torch or taking pictures with the torch.

THB has changed his thinking about the torch. Wait…really? YES! The torch as buried inside the O Stadium in London. That was a terrible idea. Most of the time the torch is at the edge of the top rim of the O Stadium, so people in the O Park (where the O Stadium is normally located now) can get their pics taken with torch in the background without buying a ticket to T&F. Here in Rio, many thousands of people who can’t afford tickets to O Stadium or O Park events have a chance to share the love. All good!

Except for that damn conga line that goes in and around the down town area, stretching out for several miles.

USA W get a re-do in relay; THB saw the slo-mo replays later and there was no question they were interfered with

Running alone, they qualify with best time

 Back to the O Stadium for another fabulous night. Even the Decathlon had intrigue: while Ashton is on an OR pace, the young French guy, Mayer, moves ahead of Eaton in the middle of the javelin. 

It's more crowded in the evening

Okay, that's a low bar to get over, the place is probably around 50% full

Jamaican Gold on gold

Sorry, I can't talk to right now, someone is calling me

Turns out that Mayer had a great Pole Vault and has set personal bests in at least 5 of the first 9 events, and has thrown a huge distance in the javelin while Eaton has lobbed in a “get me a score” throw. Ashton corrects with the next throw, then in the 1500M runs ahead of Mayer to tie the OR.
USA qualifies three in a very tough field

Canadian athlete, coach, friends, sitting in front of us

Rooting for Melissa Bishop, and she qualifies for the final

Crouser totally dominates, practically every throw is ahead of the rest of the field

The Shot Put is also a thriller, if you like USA athletes: Crouser is a beast, and the US goes 1-2.  US also does well in the 1500M M’s semis, 800M W’s semis (though Semenya is going to win this one unless something very strange happens), and the 400M W’s hurdles.

The lineup for the 1500M finale, from first to fifth, right to left 

Ash-tone repeats as the world's greatest athlete, tying the Olympic record...he's a stud!

The remaining decathletes saluting the crowd, a very nice reverse tribute

To wrap it up, some guy named Arrow? Or is Dart? Pointer? Spike? Shaft? You know, that guy…whoever he is, wins another Gold…eight? In another few days, he should set the all-time Track Gold total.
Eight different countries, no USA

Dart getting ready

Arrow is introduced as "the fastest man on any planet"

No need to even show how the other guys finished, it's winner takes all in this event

We’ve moved to a great spot in the lower deck for the 200M, and do our own bolting to the train station, get seats, fly towards the metro, make that connection really well, with seats, and are back around midnight when DA turns into a papaya.

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