Saturday, August 20, 2016

Day 16: Rio

Day 16: Rio
DA mimics a famous Brazilian triathlete 
Weather: Mild to warm in the morning, warmer from metro station into Maracanazinho, mild back in Copacabana, warm from metro station into Maracanazinho, mild back in Copacapana

Tall and tan and young and lovely
The girl from Ipanema goes walking and
When she passes, I smile but she doesn't see, doesn't see
Bad shoes (for beach wear)

Good shoes for beach, okay for VB

THB and DA do not have an event this morning. THB admits, he handled the schedule and he takes full credit for screwing this up. Coffee and toast for both of us, THB has All-Bran and an apple, and we’re off for a walk to the marina in Botoafogo to see the other JR installation in that area. An hour and half later (going over the mountain rather than through the tunnel), we’ve found the installation, taken the photos, and hailed a taxi that has just pulled into a parking lot near the beach.
Cabbie treats THB

Taxi and tunnel: safe?

THB feels very safe

Before leaving, THB asks the cab driver to buy him one of the drinks he just purchased from some sort of van that appears to be unloading items. It is pretty refreshing. The cabbie treats!!! DA gives him a generous tip.
Pretty full, especially by Rio standards

Too good to be true

A shower and we’re back out to the our local metro station, General Osorio, to see one of those heartbreakers: USA loses in the M’s VB semis to Italy. They have a huge lead in set one, only to lose 30-28. The US wins set two, 28-26, coming back from a small disadvantage. They hold Italy to what must be the lowest set total in O history, winning 25-9. They hold a 22-19 lead in set four and THB is dreaming about a USA – Brazil final (which we have tickets to as well as the semis) when the Italian’s top guy decides enough is enough, puts the whole team on his back and carries them to a 25-22 victory, serving out the set. Set 5 is no contest. THB is now dreaming about a USA – Brazil match-up for the Bronze.
Where our seats were in the afternoon

Zaystev is an Italian of Russian origins (Presidente Putin: we had no idea or we'd have turned down the parental immigration)

All the great VB teams have a guy they go to over and over: this is Italy's, and he was great vs USA

A side note: we had great seats in the front row of the second level, just off center. Unfortunately, they have left just enough room between the seats and the barrier that our row is a thoroughfare to the rest of the section and the one below. THB, in seat four, gets very frustrated and finally starts asking people to wait until play stops to go by. Only one guy gets mad, otherwise people were very understanding and apologetic. This task is always handle by a volunteer usher; not here in Rio, it isn’t. Sad…so many people with willingness to help and no guidance.
Steak / frites
Back to the apartment for a rest-up and blogging catch-up, and a meet-up with R at Astor on Ipanema Beach for dinner. They are out of oysters. They are out of fish and chips. They have plenty of gin and vodka. Steak/frites for DA and THB (pretty good), mixto frito for R, drinks.

We're courtside! Only have to move one 11 year old to claim our seats

This camera is on guide wires, it does occasionally get between us and the action. Once, the ball hit a guide wire, which disrupted the play in favor of Russia. Didn't matter, nothing could get in the way of Bra-zeel

More time at the apartment before we head out to the night M’s VB semis. One might ask, might you: how can you have dinner in Ipanema and make it on the metro to Maracanazinho for a VB match? THB might answer: because they don’t start this match until TEN FIFTEEN! Peeeee Emmmmm. Brazil played at this time pretty much the entire tournament.
Comrade Putin, we have found just your men to handle Bra-zeel

And, some extra guys, too

We are leaving late enough we can watch Dart get his Gold medal at the beginning of the Friday night T&F session.

Who gets to tell POTRF that Bra-zeel has one guy we can't stop?

Our seats for the evening session are even better than in the afternoon session. Just terrific: we’re just behind the court at about 15 feet up. The players looks close, huge, and amazingly talented. How these guys bump ferocious jump serves is beyond human comprehension: the ball just screams over the net with twist and the players handle it
The guy next to me screamed himself practically into a heart attack, and found a few free moments to sent out texts

There was no stopping Wallace, he's the beast awaiting Italy on Sunday

Brazil crushes Russia in three games, and we head out into the night. Another O first:  the metro line servicing Maracanazinho is no longer running, stopped at midnight. How can you start events knowing people can’t get around as usual (including all the volunteers). Speaking of volunteers, once again training seems to have been null and void: the first batch sends us towards the metro where a second set of volunteers tells us the two Maracana stations are now closed (we're not sharp enough to ask about the train stop next to the metro stations).
At one point, a volunteer ferried an I-pad from an assistant coach on the Russia bench to these two who downloaded something onto the I-pad; the volunteer then moved it back to the bench

Nothing helped the Russkies, they will play USA on Sunday

Jump in a taxi, where we flow to Copacabana. Breeze through town, noticing that the traffic going the other way is pretty much at a standstill at times. 
Another cab with a mini-TV going

Then, with a few miles of the apartment, the same happens to us as the streets have been closed or re-routed. Leave the cab and walk back the last 1.5 miles, in the apartment around 12:30am. The price of the cab was the same as in the morning, though THB is pretty sure we went three times the distance. Hmmmmmmm….

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