So it turns out I am super passionate about sports I have never played, don’t understand, have never even seen before. I lost my MIND watching beach volleyball (and apparently many of you got to see that for yourselves on TV! and it should be rerun on Sunday night!) but while watching fencing last night and archery today, I cried several times. Yes. Several times.
I don’t know why, exactly. It’s some kind of ‘hey, look, humans are happy and beautiful and there are moments of pure good’ joy that kept bubbling up whenever someone won a round and got super excited, or watching people cheer for their country, or the rare moments of actual silence that suddenly erupt into applause and cheers and patriotic chants.
I’m just a big sap for a good sports story. Take last night – Tunisia, who has won no medals, and as far as I know, isn’t entered in any other event, was fencing in the women’s medal match. And she was SO excited when she won, and the tiny delegation of Tunisians were pumped, too. It was a beautiful moment.
Fencing…I’m still not sure what it is. There was a brief explanation of rules before the match, but I still had no idea what was happening. Plus, they still conduct the entire thing in French, which is actually one of the official languages of the Olympics. I originally thought it was just hitting each other first and you get a point. There are more rules than that, but with technology advances, the person who is getting the point has a suit that lights up, which is really cool. Everything happened so fast I could barely follow it, but it was really cool to watch. AND America took silver!!! Super cool. Go, Daryl Homer.
Archery was easier to follow, although they didn’t score like I thought they would. I kept wanting to shout “you’ll take an eye out with that thing!” but I held back. Koreans are SUPER into archery, and really good at it, and there were a ton of them there to cheer on their women. I think they had four of the top eight spots, and went on to win gold and bronze.
And it was super cool to see so many Mexicans cheering for their surprise story – she was ranked 8th but beat out a really high ranking Chinese player, who I think got gold in London. It was just fun to be around Mexicans again. You don’t realize how much you miss hearing Spanish and seeing that flag until you do again. I miss you, mi gente! And I was excited to be in the Sambadrome for the first time, where they have the big Carnaval parade.
I think overall they’re doing a great job with the Olympics here, despite whatever silly news you may have heard. PS – I have seen ONE mosquito in the week I’ve been here. They are selling special cups with all the sports on them, so I’ve been collecting those for different sports. There are some yummy snacks offered at the events, bathrooms a plenty, clean and stocked.
All the arenas are BEAUTIFUL. The volunteers are doing a great job of directing traffic and attending to security. And being in Brazil, whenever there is a break between rounds, they play 20-30 seconds of a really good pop song, and some light shows, and everyone kind of dances a little. Hilarious moment – they played “Under Pressure” during the archery gold finals. lol. Nice choice, deejay.
Tomorrow I have two sessions of water polo. I should see USA play and Brazil, so I am bringing outfit changes to properly represent my countries. I also have tickets on Sunday night to the women’s beach volleyball quarterfinals, where I should see Kerri and April again, gymnastics gala, and wrestling, and I’m debating badminton and table tennis because why not, am I right? Viva los Olympics!