presented by Gaitpost Magazine

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

It’s Winter in Rio

The weather was a bit of a honeymoon up until Monday afternoon, when we experienced the kind of rain the tropics know how to deliver. Fortunately it waited until the competition was over for the day. The rain really cleared the air, but all the formerly air borne pollution simply transferred itself to the ground. Better on our shoes than in our lungs, I guess. The freestyles are at 9 am tomorrow, which seems an uncivilized time to hold them. I much prefer the cocktail hour for watching freestyles. The weather forecast is not good, which will make it hard for Jan to get decent photos. He has taken some really quality photos this week, and I admit I’m impressed. Maybe we should buy a decent camera for the job…a certain photographer commented that Jan is a photographer only ‘in his mind’ but he has proven to be adept, especially since he’s just got a high end point and shoot.

Speaking of equipment, when the men here aren’t busy giving each other the thumbs up, they occupy themselves with scratching, adjusting and otherwise poking at their crotches, making no effort at sublety. Jan fits in here perfectly.

The Americans are princesses and they don’t have much Pan Am spirit – not staying in the Athletes’ Village but in the Sheraton. People have been falling through the flimsy beds in the Village, but isn’t that part of the fun? I’ve heard our show jumpers are also Sheraton-ing it. Princesses!

The whole tone of the judging changed once the team competition was over. The judges seemed stingier in the I-1 test, and there were fewer spikes up and down. The judges who looked like maybe, just maybe, they were favouring their own nation, didn’t show nearly that tendency in round one of the individual competition. The only exception was our good friend Nigri, who gave Brazilian Rogerio Clementino almost four points more than all the other judges. His generosity didn’t extend to the young female Brazilian, fifteen year old Luiza Almeida. He gave her three points less than the next lowest judge, and almost six points less than the highest judge, former ‘bad girl’ Mariette.

Jan and I have started eating our lunch at 8 am on our second bus ride to avoid grief at the gate. Yesterday they found something new to take from me: some dried pumpkin seeds that I had forgotten were in a side pocket of my back pack, and that I had successfully imported to the starvation zone on the previous two days.

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