Sunday, August 12, 2012

Olympics - I know it is about time...

I know.. I know.. I am a little behind the times writing a post about the Olympics the day after the closing ceremony.  But as I enjoyed this years closing ceremony I realized just how different my Olympic experience was being in Brazil and not in the United States.  I realized there are actually other countries participating both in sports that the US does not send anyone to compete in and when the US is not competing *sarcasm*.  I remember watching hours of coverage and it always seemed to have someone from the USA competing.  This year,  I found myself watching a Korean man play a Chinese man in ping pong, Italy play Japan in women's volleyball and Russia play Serbia in water polo just to name a few.  The coverage here is surely more rounded and there doesn't have to be an American or Brazilian participating to have the competition shown.  Maybe that is because I never paid for the million channel cable package or the fact that Brazil only
sent around 270 athletes to London compared to just over 600 athletes from the United States.  The television stations prime responsibility to their viewers here is to cover Brazilian athletes and so when there is no Brazilian competing, they are allowed to show other countries.  In the USA it is hard to find a time when there is not an athlete representing the US competing for the coveted medal.   I also got to watch a lot of the Brazilian teams and athletes compete.  I felt some pride when they did their best and were awarded gold for their efforts. (Yeah Arthur Zanetti - gold medal in gymnastic rings)  I can see where the Olympic Games bring about pride and support for a nation.
On the down side,   I was only frustrated a couple of times when I wanted to watch the US men's soccer or US women's volleyball team play and could not find a station covering it.  Most of the time I was satisfied with what I found. It was also a little rougher to watch the Olympics when a USA team played Brasil.  Since I am only one and often found myself in a room full of Brazilians I had to keep my excitement to a minimum.  I quickly learned this after the threat of getting thrown out the window was muttered a couple of times.  (it was said in Portuguese and they laughed as they said it so I know they were not too seriously - kkkkkk).   I also found that watching soccer and volleyball with Brazilians is the hardest because they are so passionate about these two sports. It really did not matter who they were playing,  it was always loud and tense.  
Well,  as I am all for discovering more about Brazil, I decided to do a little digging to learn about this countries Olympic history.  They first competed in the 1920 Antwerp Olympic Games where Guillermo Paraense won the countries first gold in the 25 metre rapid fire pistol.  (not really sure what the sport is but congrats Guillermo)  They have sent athletes to every summer Olympics since except Amsterdam in 1928. However, after Guillermo's gold no one representing Brazil reached the center podium until 1952 when Adhemar Ferreira da Silva took home the gold in the triple jump. Since the '52 Games,  athletes from Brazil have won a total of 22 gold 29 silver and 54 bronze medals.  Not to
mention Vanderiei Cordeiro de Lima winning the 2004 Pierre de Coubertin Medal which is given to one athlete who demonstrates the spirit of sportsmanship as each Olympic Games.   With Brazil's international history one may guess that the countries most notable sport at the Olympics would be soccer (fotebal), However, Brazilian sailing and volleyball competitors have taken home more gold medals then any other sport and the Olympic gold medal for soccer so far has eluded the Brazilian national team.
Enough with the history lesson and now that the London Games are over I am excited as the 2016 Olympic Games will be hosted by Brazil's own Rio de Janiero.  We are already making some initial plans to be in Rio for this occasion and I hope my passion for blogging is still strong so you can come along.  It will be the first time the Olympics will be hosted by a South American country and I cannot wait to see how Brazil welcomes the world to this great city.

Thanks wikipedia and if you would like to learn about the United States Olympic history - 

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