Looking at the Olympic sites on Google Earth is one thing; looking at them in person is completely different.
We spent the morning at the media center at the Olympic Park near the apartment. The main work area for press is pretty big, which you expect for an event like this, and filled with everything you come to expect for a media workroom. We also met with Samuel Green, our editor for Rio2016.com. The Rio folks have a small office in the back of the workroom with a nice view of the mountains to the north. It’ll be a pretty nice place to work away from the hustle and bustle of all of the other journalists.
But the biggest “wow” moment came after lunch. We took a detour on our walk back to the apartment and walked into the Olympic Park where the six main arenas plus the diving and tennis stadiums are located. It can all be summed up in one word: massive.
Five of the arenas are all in a line between the main road and the bay to the south. The outdoor swimming area for the diving and synchronized swimming is to the east and the main court and the other smaller courts for tennis are to the east. The coolest building in the complex, however, is main swimming arena. It’s hard to recognize at first but the outer wrap has the design of waves on the ocean. It doesn’t come across well in photos, but it looks amazing in person.
In that same vicinity is the Rio Fest 2016 area, which features two television screens to show some of the events going on as well as a stage, and the official Olympics store. I wish it could be open now to get the souvenir shopping without the crowd, but it is what it is.
Speaking of crowds, the good news is that the walkways are very wide and I don’t think it will be too bad once the Games begin. And everything looks ready to go as well. I can’t imagine what it will look like with people.
Monday we’ll go to a training session on how to use the CMS that the Rio2016.com folks are using and hopefully going up to the Christ the Redeemer statue, because tourism.