Where do I start???
For many, going to the Olympics as a spectator is a dream come true. And this trip was a bucket list item come true. One month later, I still find it amazing that I was really there. Like I was LIVE for the Olympics!!??!
My goal was to make sure I secure sport tickets. So I first purchased tickets in January via Cosport, the authorized ticket reseller for the United States (and other nations).
Second, I purchased flight tickets to Rio.
In the last weeks leading to my trip, I purchased more tickets and arranged my lodging last.
If you paid any attention to the news in regards to the Olympics, it was all negative, right?
Well I can tell you that this trip proved how full of BULLCRAP mainstream media can be.
- They said to watch out because the Zika virus is prevalent in Brazil and the Olympics should be postponed (Guess what? Lies! I left Rio a month ago and I have ZERO signs of Zika. No mosquito bite. I did not spray a single ounce of repellant. Zika is a summer disease and August is clearly winter season in Rio)
- They said some venues were unfinished (I only went to the Olympic Park in Barra and all venues inside the park were ready and in full use while I was there. I saw the beach volleyball venue and it was in full use for the volleyball games. So it all worked out)
- They said Rio de Janeiro is unsafe, there is an increase of muggings and gun violence (I had ZERO safety issues. There were military soldiers and federal police everywhere. In the United States and the rest of the world, there are many areas with the same amount of crime. So give Rio a break. I did, however, take many precautions. E.g. stashed cash in my bra, brought an extra debit and credit card)
The fear mongering was outrageous and unfortunate because I feel Brazil did the best they could possibly do and pulled it off with enormous success. Well done!
So I know you are dying to know. How was Rio? How was the Olympics?
One word, A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.
My entire experience at the opening ceremony.
Leaving my seat in the 300s section to the 100s with 2 Americans I met.
Seeing the athletes pass by in the first row.
Seeing Tonga’s flagbearer, the fireworks, the story of Brazil, the samba dancing, and so much more!
Seeing Team USA dominate women’s artistic gymnastics
Visiting the famous 2.5-mile (4 km) Copacabana Beach in person
Crystal-clear, blue water! Very crowded but good for people watching.
You’ll find men in speedos, women in thong bikinis, vendors selling sunglasses to cooked shrimp, ice cold water, and everything you could possibly think of.
The local cuisine
My favorite meal was feijoada at Botequim Informal (located on Senhora de Copacabana). Followed by tapioca. And can’t forget açai!
Hiking Tijuca National Park
Hiked the Pico da Tijuca trail, which took 2 hours to complete. Got a great view of Rio de Janeiro. Saw monkeys along the way.
The passion of Argentines at the Nigeria vs. Argentina basketball game
I was amazed by the level of excitement in the arena. Much different than a NBA basketball game. It felt like a soccer game.
Seeing the Torch relay twice
First time was on Av. Rio Branco by Cinelândia Metro station.
Second time was on the street of my Airbnb home.
All the people I met, including people on social media
Photo Credit: Elisa
7 days in Rio was NOT enough.
I needed at least 2-3 weeks to visit and enjoy all the attractions and must-do’s on my list. Each day went by fast!
Long lines at the food stand in the Olympic Park.
I probably waited 30 minutes and the food options was trash.
It was too cloudy while touring Tijuca National Park that I could not see the beautiful views of Rio.
Wasted 3 hours at Cosport’s pickup office.
Others had it worse. (Cosport is the distributor for Olympic games tickets to the US, Canada, and other nations)
It took 2 hours to go from Cardeal Arcoverde metro to my seat in Olympic Park.
It involved 2 transfers, tons of walking, a security check, standing in a super long line for the ticket check, and walking to my seat (which was high up).
Free Wi-fi isn’t readily available.
Not even in the Olympic Park venues.
Although I came alone, I was never lonely. I’m grateful for all the wonderful people I met during this trip. Obrigada! (thank you in Portuguese)
And I’m grateful I was able to witness the Olympics. This is a trip to never be forgotten. I highly recommend that you visit Rio some day.
Were you in Rio during the Olympics?
Did you watch any of the games? What was your favorite moment?
I would love to hear from you! Comment below.