I have returned!
Actually, I returned more than a month ago, but in usual fashion after I travel, am just now writing about it.
I have stories for WEEKS about Rio and all the amazing experiences I had and life lessons I learned. From working for the USOC during #Lochmess to giving myself a crash course in boxing 45 minutes before a bout to the tennis match from hell (don’t ask) to the unlimited Uncrustables in the office, it was definitely the opportunity of a lifetime.
I wish I could have brought my DSLR, but I didn’t want to risk it and wasn’t sure how much I’d be able to sightsee/have time to take pictures for fun. It turns out that I had a decent amount of free time so I was lucky enough to wander the Olympic Park quite a bit and attend a large variety of events, even if I didn’t cover them. I ended up covering fencing, diving, boxing, sailing, taekwondo and water polo in my tenure there. There were a few others on the docket but they didn’t do as well as expected so those stories never saw the light of day.
Without further ado, my “Best Of” picture list from Rio de Janeiro.
I’m going to add something before these pictures. We were warned before leaving that while our names were on the list for Opening Ceremony tickets, it was unlikely we’d get them from the USOC (as the IOC does have to share the wealth and interns are low on the priority list for allocated tickets). However, we’d have a chance to wait in line for any extra tickets once the NOCs had been given theirs. So we did. And lo and behold, we all got into the opening. Literal dream come true, especially as it was unexpected. We had amazing seats in the press tribune and it was well worth the hour and a half trip to Maracanã via public transport and the two-hour wait in line, and the two-hour trip back to the hotel. It was an explosion of colors and I loved every minute of it. The closing, while not as grand, was equally as heartfelt and joyful.
**Re the title: So in Portuguese, “rr” has an English “h” sound. So thus, this blog title is pronounced “Baja Blast,” like the mountain dew drink. While I don’t like Baja Blast, I thought the linguistic pun was hilarious. I’m sorry. Barra da Tijuca was the name of our hotel’s neighborhood.