It was probably very premature and ridiculously optimistic of me to think I ‘d be able to write my blog every day! Since I landed in Rio early Monday afternoon I haven’t stopped – apart from the few hours of sleep we’re ‘allowed’ every day.
From Santos Dumont, Rio’s domestic airport, I went straight to the flat in Leblon: bags dropped & into an uber to Cidade do Samba to collect my credential and uniform.
Before that, however, I must insert a photo of my UNBELIEVABLE, INDESCRIBABLE experience running with the torch. I have discovered that it was one of those things – very much like motherhood – that are simply impossible to fully comprehend the emotional extent of it unless you experience it yourself. Seriously!! It’s not possible. And, to top it all, I was with my siblings, childhood friends and my 2 children Luke (18) and Julia (14).
Back to Rio. Credential & Uniform in hand, I’ve been coming to MPC (Main Press Centre) at the Olympic Park everyday since Tuesday. Most delegations have already arrived and so have the press from all over the world. The International Broadcasting Centre is seething with people. Part of my job is help the journalist with whatever they need: suggestions of stories, celebrities to be interviewed, athletes to be followed..
On Tuesday afternoon, however, I had the most exquisite experience: babysitting Olympic Medals! No kidding!!! NBC was filming all 3 medals – gold, silver & bronze – in their studio: on the top of a rotating plate, together, separately, head, tails…. 5 hours!!! Four people to do it. A cameraman instructed the technical guy who had set it all up and a local producer, wearing gloves as recommended, handled the medals. Painfully tedious job. But there was a catch. As the medals were being flipped we found out the best: THEY WERE THE MEN’S 100 METER MEDALS!!! Usain Bolt, if you’re reading it, i can tell you I held the gold 100m medal before you!! (not that the American’s agreed with me at the time) Yes, of course, I was photographed holding it in front of the Olympic Rings. Unfortunately, it is strictly forbidden to post it on any website, social media …. I had to content myself to send it to my family and friend on some whats app groups. I showed Luke & Julia, too. it might find itself in a frame sometime in the future.
On the way to Olympic Park
View from MPC
After 34 years working with Sports, I finally arrive in my native Brazil to feel what is like to be the Centre of the World of Sports, to host the biggest, most prestigious Sport Event in the World (forgive me football fans – and I am a big one – but The Olympic Games are like nothing else I have ever experienced. That’s why I have decided to write about my daily experiences here; a bit of news people would not know otherwise sprinkled with curiosities, details and good humour. I simply cannot live without a sense of humour.
Well, back to reality. The Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) has just upheld the ban of Russian Athletes from Rio 2016 over the alleged state sponsored doping regime and the International Media is full of articles putting pressure on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to extend it to all Russian Athletes.
Still, on television there is an extensive coverage of the Olympic Flame tour. The torch arrived in the State of São Paulo this week and on Sunday I will be carrying it in the Capital São Paulo city, precisely at Avenida Ibirapuera not very far at all from where I was born , Itaim, precisely the location where I am now, too. Like many before me who have carried the torch and written about it, I am honoured, humbled and super excited. My 2 children Luke (18) and Julia (14) are with me and some of my brothers and sisters and their children will be there to witness it. (Personally, I believe Rio2016’s is one of the most beautiful torches ever – the design is original and stunning and it has been made with recycled material)
In the hotel breakfast room I can see a chinese team – training here before flying to Rio next week. In another table, a team from McDonalds debating the logistics of all the immense amount of work they have been doing about the Games. Next table, a few business people from South America – can’t hear exactly what they are saying but they ARE talking about the Games. And we are in São Paulo NOT in Rio yet. The buzz of the Games are taking over the country.
Part of my job is to read everything that is published around the world about the Rio Olympics. Therefore, I know very well there have been a lot of bad press. However, this has also enabled me to find out so many great things about Brazil & Brazilians from amazing unknown heroes who have set up social programmes which have positively impacted society all over the country. The torch relay is packed with them – alternated by athletes from all sports who have represented my country (and others) with pride and passion.
Nearly one year ago, Rio 2016 released this photo. No words are necessary.
I have already checked my tickets: I have bought dozens of them!! Every time I bought a bunch I felt excited. When I picked them up – in London – and now in São Paulo I felt the sort of excitement that makes you slightly sick in the stomach. Seriously!! Some people asked me why i bothered buying tickets. Well, for a start my children, relatives and friends will go together to some of the 306 events of 42 sports in their own country!
And here I mus point out a decision made by the Rio 2016 Committee which I could not be prouder about: “Nobody, and I mean NOBODY will be given tickets for free”. It might be simplistic for all of you reading this but, in Brazil, the habit of expecting to be invited to every important event/party/launch is a nation sport. This rule means no politician, singer, actor, sports person, TV presenter and pseudo celebrity will get anything for free for themselves or their relatives. You can’t see me now but I am giving it a standing ovation! And that’s a good way to finish today’s post
It captures all you’d expected from this vibrant, beautiful city
For those of you who could not join the internet hang out on Tuesday, here it’s the video in HD and complete with graphs and explanations of Dr Grangeiro , heade by Rio2016 Executive Director of Communications Mario Andrada
Versão em alta e na íntegra: https://youtu.be/1M5J-aiShP8
Nice Video: Thiago Pereira stars
Very interesting video with all the simulations and some real footage of Brazil Special Forces training in specific operations
Quando me informaram muitos meses atrás que o Ayrton Senna seria um dos Embaixadores dos Jogos Olímpicos do Rio2016 confesso que fiquei perplexa. Como? Hologramas? Será que iriam ‘teleportar’ imagens do Ayrton em arenas, fan fests etc?? Será que fotos impressas em cartazes ajudariam alguma coisa? Acho que menosprezei a força daquela homem, considerado ainda por milhões o símbolo maior do orgulho dos brasileiros até hoje.
Imagens das vitórias deles nas pistas de corrida não poderiam fazer a menor diferença pra atletas olímpicos. Esta era a minha opinião. Mas olha só o que eles fizeram: inspiração total.
A vibrant, colourful new look for Galeão. Welcome everyone.
I know it has been ages since I last published anything here. And, believe me, it is not because there hasn’t been many positive things coming out of Brazil. Although, given the current situation, one would be forgiven to think so. I just have had my working and personal life full time directed to action, instead of writing. And I saw a Ted Talk a few months back, where Celeste Headlee says ” If you want to state your opinion without any opportunity for response or argument or pushback or growth, write a blog.” HaHaHa. it did make me laugh and I can see her point. But that is definitely not the reason I write mine.
Just wanted to bring you this video. A safety campaign, winner of Pencil Prize by the prestigious London based Festival D&AD, where mothers decide to give their time and go to football matches to assure their children come back alive and well. I do hope you enjoy as much as I did.
The nearer we get the more excited it all becomes.