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Posts tagged ‘Rio 2016’

Tokyo 2020

It is the longest wait for an Olympic opening ceremony in history, but tomorrow morning my time the 2020 Tokyo Olympics that never looked like happening finally opens.

A year late and stymied by all the regular hosting city controversies of construction, corruption, dodgy resignations of officials and even logo arguments, last year the Tokyo Olympics was taken down by the biggest disease of all.

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My 2016 Top Five Favourite Places

My annual review of the best things I did or saw or tasted last year. I love to travel and got to a few new places in 2016 and revisited a couple of old favourites such as Chicago and San Francisco, but those two didn’t make the list of my Top Five Favourite Places of last year, but these did:
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Rio 2016 – Day 9 Track & Field

Our final day in Rio and we ended with a day at the Olympic Stadium watching some athletics. The Olympic Stadium moniker is only being used for the duration of the Games, the real name is the Nilton Santos Stadium, or more fondly known as the Engenhão, and was built for the 2007 Pan American Games and is home to my adopted team Botafogo.

The journey from Barra to Enganhao de Dentro was pretty painful, and eye-opening, and for the first time pretty disorganized. We were met by massive queues when we reached the stadium an hour later than we hoped, but not for the first time our 6-year bebê came in handy with line jumping as preference is given to kids.
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Rio 2016 – Day 8 Diving 

Women’s 10m diving today. The 2007 built, but slightly crumbling, Maria Lenk Aquatics Center has already hosted some of the earlier water polo and is running with the synchronized swimming as well, get your nose pegs ready for that, but diving is the arena’s main pull with just the men and women’s 10m platform left.

28 women, some young enough looking to be in primary school, took part in qualification today each committing 5 dives, each one different and the 18 divers with the highest score progressed to tomorrow morning’s semi-final. The best 12 then take part in the final later tomorrow.
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Rio 2016 – Day 7 Equestrian 

Trot on. Not my normal sporting activity although I do like the gee gees, but this was slightly different watching the Equestrian team and individual jumping qualification today.

We made our way out to Deodoro, where Brazil’s National Equestrian Centre already existed and an impressive sight it was. The 32,500 seater outdoor arena was built for the 2007 Pan American Games and forms part of the Deodoro cluster of Rio 2016 stadia which includes a mountain bike and BMX track, the modern pentathlon park, where the rugby was held last week as well as the field hockey plus somewhere there was a whitewater rafting and canoe slalom course. I’d like to have seen that.

Nonetheless 4 hours sat in the beating hot sun watching the horses trot around was quite enough. I can’t imagine how hot Rio can get on a warm Summer’s day, but today was toasty and even the beer did not help with my hydration.
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Rio 2016 – Day 6 Rest day

Today was our one day with no tickets for any events, so we decided to cram a visit to the two largest tourist sites in the city into one day, which in hindsight was a bit of an ask.

The first challenge was transport. You can only travel on the BRT and Metro if you have a valid Olympic ticket for that day of competition, we didn’t so we had to cab it around and although not expensive, Rio’s traffic is atrocious. It took an hour to get from our apartment in Barra to Corcovado, where where we met the cog train to ascend 20 minutes up a side of a mountain to see up close the Christ of the Redeemer (Cristo Redentor) statue.
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Rio 2016 – Day 5 Water Polo

A cross between basketball and rugby but played on water, I saw a little bit of water polo when I was younger as I had a good mate who played to national standard and I used to go and watch him occasionally. Water polo is a tough sport and it is plenty physical and what goes on under the water is best not seen!

There are 4 periods of 8 minutes with time outs and sin bins used to stop serial eye gouging. The Olympic men’s water polo is still in the group stage and we saw three games today at the Aquatic Centre, where the night before Michael Phelps signed off with his 23rd gold medal.
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Rio 2016 – Day 4 Beach Volleyball

I got a lot of grief indoors for getting Beach Volleyball tickets and I have had all the jokes about budgie smugglers and only going for the thongs. Well, let me tell you thongs were very much on show, but the blokes, thankfully, took to the sand pit dressed like they were going for a paddle at Margate .

We lucked out that our session’s first game today at the very impressive temporary Copacabana Beach Arena was Brazil’s men against Spain’s men. World v European champions, and a very, very partisan 10,000 crowd made the day such a memorable experience. The atmosphere was a cross between a hyped up NBA play-off game with added DJ help and dance routines and a high energy Brazilian football match at the Maracana.
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Charlton Athletic 1 Northampton Town 1

I took my protest to Rio and tuned out of the happenings at The Valley and instead tuned into scantily clad women slapping a ball over a net on sand in the name of Olympic sport.

However my always relied upon Mother was updating me during the game and my brother gave me a full blown text report after, but it was fair to say you would all have rather been in my seat at the Copacabana Beach Volleyball Arena. You would also have been surrounded by more people!

Anyway these are my observations. The Canadian girl’s bikini bottom was a shade of red and white. Oh hang on, wrong blog post! Apologies.
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Rio 2016 – Day 3 Gymnastics 

I’m not sure jumping up and down on a trampoline is the most artistic of all gymnastic events but it is a pretty serene sight seeing lithe women fly through the air, throwing all kinds of shapes at high altitude before bouncing back up again like an astronaut in a space station. 

We were at the Rio Olympic Arena today for a little gymnastics action and I wouldn’t say I learnt anything apart from falling out of the trampoline badly affects your score. Otherwise the scoring, and at least the docking of points for defections was hard to fathom, but it was enjoyable nevertheless and excitedly we got to see Great Britain pick up a medal.
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Rio 2016 – Day 2 Tennis

We are staying in Barra da Tijuca and purposely picked an apartment close to the new BRT station, Jardim Oceanico. And today for our first day of Olympic action we made our way a couple of minutes around the corner to the station so new that the  paint was wet, and the whole journey was easy. 20 minutes most on a brand spanking new bus that floated past traffic in an express lane to get us to Barra’s Parque Olimpico, home to nine different venues including the Tennis Centre, built brand new for the Olympics with an impressive centre court and 15 outside courts, which I would hazard a guess we’re temporary structures.

Barra Olympic Park was previously a Formula One race track and was home to the Brazilian Grand Prix. It was demolished in 2012 to make way for one of the key Rio 2016 centres and will, hopefully, leave the largest sporting legacy to the country once the Olympics has packed it’s rings and moved the circus on.
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Rio 2016 – Day 1 First impressions 

We landed in Rio this morning and my first thoughts were as to whether I had brought enough warm and water proof clothes. It has pretty much drizzled the entire day and fog has shrouded the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue that looks down over the XXXI Olympic city and dark skies have hung over us all day.

The airport, vastly improved by all accounts, was impressive. Clean, efficient and organized with hundreds of Rio 2016 volunteers and camera crews everywhere, it gave us a real sense of occasion when we got off the plane this morning, agreeably still in the same time zone as Bermuda. There is a lot to be said for doing an 9-hour overnight flight but not sending your body clock into a spin.
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Rio Olympics

After my London Olympic ticket woe, four years later I was both better prepared and luckier in the quest for event tickets at this summer’s Rio Olympics. Attending an Olympics has sat idle on my bucket list for some time but after the disappointment of not being able to attend London’s momentous occasion, we will be heading down to Rio in a few weeks time to see seven different sports over a ten day period. Surreptitiously it also coincides with my big birthday month, and therefore I was determined to make it happen.

Better research and lessons learnt told me that as a EU citizen I was able to apply for tickets from Authorized Ticket Resellers (ATR) of any European Union member. So I busily searched all over various countries websites and that widened our odds. Brexit will put an end to anyone trying to do that for Tokyo 2020.
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