Monday, August 22, 2016

Day 18: Rio

Day 18: Rio
THB and DA stylin' (photo taken by a volunteer otherwise unoccupied)
Weather: Raining in early morning, then muggy the rest of the day

Moça do corpo dourado do sol de ipanema
O seu balançado mais que um poema
a coisa mais linda que eu já vi passar..

But I watch her so sadly
Porque tudo to triste
Yes, I would give my heart gladly
But each day, when she walks to the sea
She looks straight ahead, not at me
Signs on balconies of apartment building across street from Maracanazinho

Today THB is feeling more refreshed, got one hour more sleep than the norm over the last 5 or 6 days. Shower and the usual breakfast, without the coffee and toast: the coffee maestro has slept in.
An umbrella stand outside security
It’s Sunday (though THB is disoriented enough by now that he needs to keep reminding himself).  So the 8:15am walk to the metro in the rain feels doubly empty: no potential sunbathers and few O attendees.
Train station

Metro station attached to train station

Between the stations and the stadium...what is it?

Leaving the metro at Maracana, we see a large mob at the bottom of the scaffolding steps: they are offering tickets for sale (in front of the O ticket windows, clever!). Pretty much the only time we’ve seen individuals selling tickets is near a venue or at the ticket offices, and it’s all done silently with signs or a fan of tickets. Since we have tickets for the afternoon Gold Medal match of Brazil vs Italy, maybe we should see what those are going for…

Must be legal, there are a ton of policia, militaria, and other guys with uniforms and guns standing around.
9:40am, never too early for a beer that tastes like water
Ed. Note: While prepping this post, THB is watching on TV the Warriors receive their gold medals in M’s Basketball, who are those other guys with them? Where’s Steph?

William Reid Priddy

Damn, the USA men are getting clobbered by the Russians. Then in the middle of the second set, the coach sends in some bald guy with a huge beard and thin legs totally immersed in black leggings, what the hell is this? Some guy named Priddy, he’s absolutely ancient, playing in his 4th O’s.

Well, he can’t save the USA in the second set; by the third he’s got things turned around and the USA goes on to win Bronze in 5 sets. 

filling up

Maybe he knows it will be getting more exciting later

The man of the hour

Very exciting. The arena is nearly full by the time the fourth set starts. Does Priddy come back for Tokyo? THB thinks he will be in his 60s by then (Priddy, not THB, who will wish he was still in his 60s when Tokyo O’s come around).

Off we go to our fave skewered meat place for lunch. We’re some of the first patrons so the skewers are not rolling by in quantity and by the time we’ve eaten our fill it is time to go back to VB and we’ve missed out on the ribs. On other hand, the salad THB composes off the buffet is excellent and we also manage to order polenta fries (our waiter speaks English, another unusual plus).
THB was wrong: this is a clone of the most annoying announcer ever

Because here he is! Somehow he's been bumped for last two matches by a guy just every bit as obnoxious

Zaytsev, Italy's top gun

Wallace (Wallas-eee in Portuguese), Brazil's top gun

Full and loud!

It’s Brazil vs Italy for the Gold, Wallace vs Saytzev. The place is full, around 10,000 or so screaming Bra-zeel over and over. Brazilians do not boo their team when they serve: they have booed every other server from every other team throughout.
What is this??? A purse that sits on a seat back? Yowza...something for the woman who as absolutely everything in purses?

Maybe just one or two photographers too many

There were few empty seats, one right in front of us; THB was going to put his purse on it and somehow forgot to bring his purse today

Wallace does not spike all that well, he does play a superb floor game; Saytzev spikes well enough, just not well enough to carry Italy to a winning set. Overall, Brazil is a bit better in most facets, and that gets them the Gold.

Italy had to play at peak level to win; they made a few mistakes and it cost them

This guy is trying to talk his way into the arena. Maybe it was his disguise that caught the attention of the Special Forces (or maybe it was his "special force" that peaked their interest)

THB and DA return to the apartment. DA preps and leaves around 4:40 for his 9:40 flight to Atlanta and then to SFO tomorrow morning. He is safely in the Delta lounge before 6. We both agree the time went well, lots to see and discuss along with all our O memories.

THB will be following in his footsteps tomorrow. Tonight THB is blogging, dining a la top shelf, and maybe even watching the Closing Ceremony (which from the sounds coming from the street, will be viewed in person during a downpour).


  1. Enjoyed each day of the 0's with you both. Thanks for sharing!!

  2. A treat to hear the on-site O comments and photos. Thanks for your dedication.