Rio #17 – Christ the Redeemer & the Selaron Steps
Greetings From Rio,
Another incredible day is in the books … Once again Team Volleyball took advantage of some free time. It started at 7:30 am (local time) as we headed to Corcavado to see the Christ Redeemer Statue, one of the 7 Modern Wonders of the World … Christ the Redeemer is an Art Deco statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, created by Polish-French sculptor Paul Landowski and built by the Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa, in collaboration with the French engineer Albert Caquot that opened in October of 1931. The statue weighs 635 metric Tons, and is located at the peak of the 700-metre Corcovado Mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park overlooking the city of Rio. A symbol of Christianity across the world, the statue has also become a cultural icon of both Rio de Janeiro and Brazil. The views were spectacular but the team bonding and laughs we all shared are what I will never forget about this trip to the Mountains. When you work with people as many hours as we have and will continue to do over the next 8 days, these moments are essential and the 13 of us who made the journey are better because of it.
After an hour on the mountain we went to the old town of Santa Teresa to see the Selaron Steps, another iconic piece of this incredible city. The quaint little town is a haven for artists who flock the winding streets of Santa Teresa hill in the center of Rio. They are the work of Chilean-born artist Jorge Selaron who claimed it as “my tribute to the Brazilian people.” It was another great moment on our journey throught these Olympic Games. The city of Rio also sits as a canvas for graffiti artists who have added their own interpretive beauty to this enchanted place.
As for the real reason we are in Rio, we had 2 matches today … First, the Russian men faced Poland, in a match that was crucial in establishing the seeds of Pool A. Surprisingly the Russians defeted the favored Polesin 5 sets.
In our second match, Team USA took a huge step towards the quarterfinals and a chance at a medal, defeating a VERY good French team 3-1 … They did it with one of the greatest comebacks in Olympic Volleyball history. Trailing 17-9 in the first set, the American’s Block became a force, the middle hitters crushed the ball with consistancy and Team USA climbed all the way back to win 25-22 taking all the momentum of the match away from men from France.
Over the next 3 days our endurance will be challenged with 15-18 hour work days as we will produce 10 matches on the air, including ALL 4 quarter finals of the Women’s tournament where Team USA is trying to capture its first gold in Olympics History.
I hope you enjoy the rest of the games and my journey …
Love to all,