The U.S. and Serbia play in men's basketball in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro

Rio Olympics Blog — Day Fifteen: The ups and downs

*sigh*

So Friday was a bit of a roller coaster here in Brazil.

I worked the 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. shift for Rio2016.com, but it was uneventful until the last two hours. That’s when the U.S. women’s soccer team faced Sweden in the quarterfinals. And that went, well, just poorly. With the loss probably goes my chance of making it out to the Maracana and severely limits my chances of getting a soccer feature in during the Olympics. Not. Cool.

But going to a U.S. men’s basketball game should make it better, right? Well … kinda.

Akshay and I somehow found the only two empty seats in the arena for the game between the U.S. and Serbia. And, like the U.S. women hours before, the Americans looked disinterested and not caring about playing. It nearly turned into a disaster of its own.

Despite jumping out to a 20-point lead, the Americans allowed Serbia to stay in the game and the anti-American crowd to get behind the Serbians. Technically, the U.S. never trailed, but they never found the killer shot. Instead, they let Serbia have the ball with 5.6 seconds left, down by three and left a shooter wide open for the tying shot.

Mercifully, it didn’t go in.

Somehow the U.S. won that game. But I can’t kick the notion that if they don’t start playing better, they’re going to go out of the tournament in the quarterfinals, just like women’s soccer.

But then the day was randomly made better by this food truck. It was parked just outside of the arena underneath a pedestrian bridge, and it might just be the Olympics best kept secret.

The truck only sells hot dogs, but they are way more (and better) than your average hot dog. Essentially, it’s sausage that they put on a larger bun with cheese on top. Then they blowtorch the hot dog, put some bacon on top and call it a hot dog. Honestly, it’s the best thing I’ve had since arriving in Rio and man did that turn the day around quickly.

I'm going to be blunt today sucked. But this made it better. #Rio2016

A post shared by Jacob Martella (@thesportsjournalist) on

Saturday will be a bit more interesting. After my morning/early afternoon Rio2016 shift, Akshay and I are head to Olympic Stadium for a track and field story. Here’s hoping Saturday’s better than Sunday.

Miles walked today: 7.86

Total miles walked: 92.83


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