1. Brazilian supporters wear green and yellow like the Aussies. Together we’re like one big, happy, lemon-lime squad.
2. It may be like this all the time, but there are parties all along the Ipanema esplanade. Makeshift bars line the beachfront selling beers, food and Olympic merch. I’m writing this from my hotel at 12:57am and I can hear that there is no way the parties are going to be extinguished any time soon. Brazilians are loud.
3. There are military and police everywhere. You can’t walk 30m without seeing a squad waiting for someone to play up. As yet, I haven’t seen anyone play up. (Touchwood.) I did see a pool of blood in a hotel lobby this arvo though. A kid probably (hopefully) had a nosebleed, right?
4. There are also security scanners to get into everywhere. Hotels, restaurants. There’s even a military boat just past the breakers in the Ipanema ocean that I look out at from my hotel room. They’re ready in case shit gets real.
5. There’s an ‘Olympics lane’ on the roads. Like our bus lanes, you can only be in it if you’re going to the Olympics. (You can imagine how much the locals love that. Not.) Though still, it takes a long time to get around.
6. Bonus: when you do arrive at the Olympics hub, there are no lines to get in. It could be that the Brazilians are very well organised (though probably not – see point #7). It could also be that many of the stadiums just aren’t full. See exhibit A, below [pic of empty stadium seats during water polo matches].
7. The Olympics HQ is big and open like Homebush. Not quite as well manicured and glossy, but the Lord of the Rings-like hills that surround the venue make it far more jaw-dropping than Sydney’s ironically non-bushy concrete and steel home of sports and entertainment.
8. You need to be flexible in Rio. Not Amanda Bisk flexible, but not-being-rigid-with-your-plans flexible. The Brazilians live on Rio Time. A bit like Island Time. Also, things can just eff up – for instance, this arvo our coach wasn’t allowed to enter the pick-up area to collect us as planned. So we had to walk for 40 minutes to get to lunch. Fitbit said good job.
9. It is 25 or 30 °C. That’s what De Janeiro peeps call winter. Which is delicious after the temps I’ve been shivering through in Sydney.
10. Water polo is a fantastic game to watch. It makes sense: girls swim, throw the ball to their teammates, try to get it into the goal. No tricksy, difficult-to-comprehend rules, not much more to it than that. Oh, except for the punching and frequent attempted drownings. Highly entertaining.
Alice is reporting for Women’s Health with Swisse. #Swissepoweringdreams
Check out Alice's article from yesterday - 7 Things I've Learnt Since Arriving In Rio.