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42 minutes ago, Citius Altius Fortius said:

I am just one block away from Ipanema Beach - I did the same, but I didn't want to take Copacabana...

I'm kinda in the middle. Two blocks from Copacabana, three blocks from Ipanema :)

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Will be interesting to follow this and other blogs from Rio. I hope you find time to keep us up to date on events despite busy schedule. I also went to my first Olympic Games in London but ended up not going to Rio. Despite all the problems there have been I have started to regret I didn't find a way to get there as I fear this might be a unique opportunity. Although I'm less familiar with Brazil and never have been to Rio, I previously lived in one of the neighbouring countries of Brazil and otherwise know the continent quite well plus speak Spanish and Portuguese which I guess could have made a real difference to most people's experience. I'm sure the contrast to London is huge and should you go to Tokyo in four year's time the difference will be even bigger, no wonder considering that the three cities couldn't be much further from each other and in case of Tokyo and Rio they are literally on the opposite sides of the globe.

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8 hours ago, reindeer said:

I'm sure the contrast to London is huge and should you go to Tokyo in four year's time the difference will be even bigger, no wonder considering that the three cities couldn't be much further from each other and in case of Tokyo and Rio they are literally on the opposite sides of the globe.

I decided to go to Rio, since it has a completely different cultural background - I am still a little bit scared to be in a country for another 25 days without speaking the national language, but it works - the city is so vibrant, the people are so kind - they are very proud to welcome the world here - and I think we have to pay them back with their joy and their dedication to their city...

It might be not everything finished, but that is a minor issue - we should accept that there are different ways to live our lives and it works! 

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7 hours ago, Citius Altius Fortius said:



It might be not everything finished, but that is a minor issue - we should accept that there are different ways to live our lives and it works! 

I came across this story this morning. Was;t sure where to post it, but I felt it fitted in very much after your comment here CAF. It explains my feelings too... the games in Rio were never going to be superslick and perfect, and nor should they be. What I've been calling the "rough edges" are part of the charm that I expect from a Rio Games.

Quote

 

The Olympic Games would be struggling for relevance if they hadn't come to Rio

The bleeding obvious popped up, as it were, while I was watching a taxi driver take advantage of the stalled traffic to empty his bladder on the side of the road near Ipanema Beach. Brazil is part of the developing world, and the Olympic movement has done absolutely the right thing by coming here. Indeed, the Games should get out more often.

Shock horror, this was not the only act of public urination seen hereabouts. From the Herald's pre-Games hotel in Copacabana, a gentleman was spotted watering the beach volleyball surface.

If this happened in Sydney, the offender would be an NRL player on his way to redemption via the local court, the front page and the Integrity Unit. We are so precious.

Sydneysiders can remember their relief and joy when the 2000 Games went off so well; can they also remember the perfectionist mass neurosis that preceded them, the fear that the world would judge us badly if a train had to wait more than a minute between Strathfield and Lidcombe?

Here in Brazil, workmen with cigarettes dangling from their lips are still wandering about with pieces of galvanised fence looking for somewhere to erect them or taking them home for resale. Bags of rubbish, like luggage at Latin American airports, are waiting on roadsides to be claimed. The logistics are not running on sleek rails.

Hundreds of big green things that could be barricades or housing materials are stacked on the beachfront. A navy boat patrols the waters in a sign of reassurance, or its opposite. That most tired of buzz expressions – "It is what it is" – seems, for once, entirely appropriate.

 

The Olympics have only dipped their toe into a developing-world democracy once before, going to Mexico City in 1968. Aside from ventures into authoritarian China and post-economic miracle South Korea, the Games have been hard to coax out of their first-world bubble.

They have never been to India or Indonesia or the Philippines, nor to the Middle East. Africa and the Caribbean have been over-represented in great achievements in the Olympic arena but untrusted as hosts. Australia has had the Games twice, but areas representing two-thirds of the world's population have not had them at all.

Are the Olympics struggling for relevance? Only perhaps on streets where Jarryd Hayne's next move is all-important. Out in those parts of the world where Hayne is, remarkably, unknown, a different story unfolds. The Olympics would be struggling for relevance if they didn't come to Brazil.

Withdrawals by basketball, tennis and golf superstars are not a blow to the Games, but just what they needed. The prospect of Brazil, where control-obsessed celebrity sportspeople could only envisage the potential for chaos and disease, sorted the sheep from the goats.

The uncommitted stayed away, as is their right, and the participants have been whittled back to those who should be here: athletes for whom this is the one big chance, the quadrennial dream. Far from weakening the Olympics, the absence of all those day-in, day-out professionals has purified the event. Those who are here, want to be here.

Rio is not London or Sydney, and it is certainly not Beijing. In the days leading up to the opening ceremony, the prevailing atmosphere is of a busy city, preoccupied with its problems, suddenly realising something big is happening and then not being too fussed about it either way.

There are no orchestrated parades or licked-clean thoroughfares. Outside the four main Olympic precincts the city appears to be taking the Games in its stride, declining to dress itself up in banners and flags.

Probably spooked by what they have heard about petty crime, terrorism and public urination, the hundreds of thousands of tourists reportedly here are keeping a low profile. Out on Copacabana, aside from the occasional very tall person wearing a national tracksuit, the majority of boulevardiers are Brazilian families.

If the Western world wants to hold its nose, the carioca response is not to try too hard. Which is refreshing.

Outside the bubble, partner-sponsors are not chewing up the landscape. On the surface, these appear to be the least-choreographed, least-corporate, least-commercialised, least-desperate-to-please Olympics in recent memory.

Some might think that is a sign of decline, but it is also a sign of the Games reaching into the world where people live. When the International Olympic Committee voted to come to Brazil seven years ago, the country was riding an economic wave of rising oil and commodity prices. The Brazil of 2016 is not what was anticipated and the economic legacy of holding an Olympic Games has been over-sold (when has it not?); but the Games and the athletes will be a success if they embrace the fact that this is where a serious global movement should be coming, and if every detail does not go to plan, a surprise needn't be an unpleasant one.

What constantly startles is the natural beauty of the city. Christ the Redeemer came late, less than a century ago. He was pre-dated by the splendour of Guanabara Bay and the beaches of Barra, the offshore islands and the granite mountains and cliff faces that rise and plunge between neighbourhoods.

Like Hobart, Rio is a city where there is cheap real estate with great views. All this beauty, too, is taken in the cariocas' stride. If the relieving taxi driver had turned to face the other way, he would have had a splendid vista of Ipanema and the south Atlantic. He didn't care to; this is his town, and he sees it every day.

Sydney Morning Herald

 

 

Sorry about the fonts - I'm starting to hate the new forum upgrade!

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4 hours ago, Citius Altius Fortius said:

I just came home - and I just want to say one sentence: the opening ceremony was just amazing!!! Thank you Brazil for this marvelous show!!!

Have a virtual Like (I used up my Saturday Likes allowance in the small hours of this morning)!

I was worried that the smaller cast might limit the impact of the ceremony for stadium spectators- evidently it didn't !

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After this marvelous Opening Ceremony I was very happy that I had tickets for Artistic Gymnastics of the first day of the Olympic Park in Barra, but I had to learn that there were a lot of start-up problems...

The trip from Ipanema to Barra worked very smoothly with the new metro line 4 and the BRT from Jardin Oceanico to the Olympic Park, but the security check was a mess when I arrived around 9:30 at the Park - the queue took nearly two km - then suddenly the queue was gone and everybody was running to the security check area - I lost my glasses, but a lovely brazilian lady saw how I lost my glasses and she ran after me and gave them back to me - thank god!

Well, then I went to the entrance of the Olympic Arena - another queue for one km. They had only one line for all "normal" people - one line for handicapped people and one line for all FILA officials... 

I finally got to my seat around 11:30 - and I could watch a little bit of the Qualification of the Men Gymnastic competition - I was hungry and wanted to get something to eat - I was happy that the queue wasn't very long (just 20 m), but I was told by a volunteer that they have to close, due the session will be over very soon. I "exploded" - the poor fella! 

Well, out of the venue I wanted to find something to eat - there is only one food plaza in the Olympic Park - and you can't go to the counters directly (where is written Food or Beverages), but you have to queue at a cashier first and get a voucher - I queued again and waited a half hour and when i was at the counter I was told that they just sell vouchers for beverages right now and that on the other side of the plaza food vouchers are sold now - I went over to the other side to see long queues everywhere...

I gave up and thought I will eat something in the venue (there the queues were not as long as outside) - i went back to the arena to find a queue for the re-entry of 2 km...

I was totally frustrated and said: No to myself and left the Olympic Park to get something to eat and a cold beer out of my fridge in my apartment and watched the two following session of gymnastic at home...

In the meantime I talked with a friend of mine, who is very experienced in Olympic Games - he said that this food/drink mess is comparable to "Beijing" and the problem with no shadow in the Olympic Park was the same in Athens.

We had 31°C yesterday and in the Park is no real shadow - there are some plants, but mostly you are walking over concrete or stone plates...

After a good night and some cool beverages yesterday I am feeling better today - yesterday I was really pissed off by the organization - they have to improve the procedures very fast - the empty seats in the venues don't surprise me at all - the people are standing outside in queues and are not able to enter or left frustrated the whole park...

 

 

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Im sure it will get better Martin, its a learning curve. How is the atmosphere inside the venues, is it suffering because people arn't getting in. Looking in from the outside the mens road race looked spectacular so did the rowing but apparently the mid section is quite hairy for the rowers as it gets cross winds.

Edited by daveypodmore

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Sounds frustrating Marts. Yeah, do hope it improves. Makes one appreciate how efficiently they managed crowd movement and checks in London (Ithink we were pretty good in Sydney too, but I WOULD say that). I do remember in Atlanta I experienced similar queue problems to what you describe in Barra. I remember being in interminable queues seeming to snake slowly and endlessly around Georgia Dome as well, and also in brutal heat (with humidity and the odd quick thunderstorm to add to the mix) with little shade. It takes patience being a travelling Olympic fan at times.

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1 hour ago, Citius Altius Fortius said:

In the meantime I talked with a friend of mine, who is very experienced in Olympic Games - he said that this food/drink mess is comparable to "Beijing" and the problem with no shadow in the Olympic Park was the same in Athens.    

 

Hmm I have no idea what your friend was talking about.  In the 15+ venues I attended during the Beijing Games there were queues and rubbish options but no cashier issue.  You walked up to drinks stand, pick a drink, pay there and they handed you the drink.

In actual shopping stores (Like the merchandise stores on Wangfujing Street) you would pick your souvenir, get a slip from the sales guy, pay at a payment window and then go back and get the item.  Maybe that was what they meant?  Never an issue in/around the venues though...

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Sorry to hear that CAF. Hope you've got all your bad luck out of the way in one day.

Enjoy the rest of your Games!

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That whole food and drink system sounds a bit like old Soviet bloc to me. It's not how it operates everywhere else in Rio is it?

Edited by Sir Rols

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I had a ticket for Eventing Cross Country today in the morning - and on the way to Deodoro my camera was stolen. It was an old one, so it isn't too bad, but I fell "strange" when I think about that somebody can look through my private photos. I am just glad that I downloaded all photos in the morning today also.

I don't want to start a discussion now: "how dangerous Rio de Janeiro is" - such bag picking can happen anywhere and i still have that lovely Brazilian woman in my mind who gave me my glasses back..

The event itself was great - but I had to learn that I was to ambitious with my "ticket list" - it is just too much... So I will skip some events, due I need some rest. I have Basketball tickets for tonight, but i can't stay awake until 11.00 today - I feel too tired...

IMG_1364_zpsj49fzo9i.jpg

IMG_1367_zpso9rsqhyc.jpg

 

By the way the landscape of Rio is very unique - there are really hills in between - this is between the clusters Deodoro and Barra - I took the BRT to get to my evening event, but when i reached Olympic Park I was so tired, that I decided to go home...

IMG_1426_zpsye6qjjay.jpg

I am sitting now on the couch with a cold "Guarana Antartica" in my hand and watching Gymnastics (for with I didn't get tickets)

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2 hours ago, Citius Altius Fortius said:

I am sitting now on the couch with a cold "Guarana Antartica" in my hand and watching Gymnastics (for with I didn't get tickets)

I've been wondering - can you get any TV coverage at "home base" that isn't in Portuguese? It was one of those things I worried about when I wondered if I would make it to Rio or not.

Edited by Sir Rols

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