One Day In Brazil

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I recently cashed in on an old bribe I had with Cheryl Mills when she worked at the State Department and had my very own passport super expedited, think 24 hours turn around. So I hopped on a plane out of LAX with a dream and a cardigan (apologies to Miley Cyrus) and I’m now sipping Caipirinhas with Lola, Tony and the rest of the gang at the Copacabana in not so beautiful Rio De Janeiro.

The United State Olympic Committee (USOC) was so impressed with my social media exuberance after Indiana’s own Lilly King won gold the other night in the 200-meter breaststroke, that they invited me down to the Olympics for my own personal spin of how things are and a chance to interview Miss King for my website. First impression….”You promise that the bottled water is from a spring in Fiji, and not local?”

My first stop was to the diving pool.  I had to solve this green water mystery.  Seriously Rio, you are going to blame the heat for the algae?  Before I left the states to come here, I was watching women’s beach volleyball and they were dressed in long sleeves and pants.  I’m also feeling slightly cheated that I had to wait four years for this and I’m watching them play in yoga pants instead of the latest technology from speedo!  I watch for the FASHION, get your mind out of the gutter!

So the best and brightest minds in Brazil can’t keep pool water blue?  I could go visit any outdoor pool at a chain of roach motels in the deep south in August and see bluer water.  Don’t give me the “heat” excuse.  This water is greener than the grass at August National, is there not a local Watson’s around here to go buy 20,000 lbs. of pool shock?  I had tickets to that day’s diving events but of course it was cancelled due to water conditions.  Greg Louganis has to be shaking his head back home.

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No diving, no problem.  Right next door the U.S. men’s water polo team was performing in the trashy water.  While not green, I wouldn’t exactly call it blue either.  Before the feminist crowd starts picketing my door, I saw the men play.  I’m sure the women’s water polo is just as physical.  The men that participate in this event are warriors.  Treading water the whole time while engaging in mortal combat with your opponent, then swimming end to end trying to throw a ball in a net without being drowned by your opponent is something I will never forget.

I’m not sure what constitutes a foul in water polo, but I’m pretty sure tying a concrete block around someone’s foot is about the only way you will have one called on you.  I’ve seen kickboxing matches with less contact.  People in the states get a 20-year vacation in Leavenworth for less.  Why there isn’t a mortality rate in men’s water polo should be investigated by Dan Brown, it is truly amazing seeing how physical the sport is.

Before heading over to the women’s soccer complex, I sat down with some Star Wars enthusiasts so I could pull them back into reality following the new trailer for the upcoming Star Wars: Rogue One this December.  People, get a life; there are way more important issues in this world.  Namely, when do I get to meet Lilly King!  No worries, I had great odds on the U.S. women winning gold in soccer and sensed retirement was imminent.  What’s that?  The freaking Swedes beat us!  I thought that was a surer bet than Donald Trump saying something stupid.

I would accuse them of shaving points, but I’ll save that for the men’s basketball team.  They cost me an entertaining evening at the Rio Scenarium and 30 lbs. of duty-free South American coffee I was going to sell to my coffee aficionados back in the states.  Winning by ten against the Aussies?  Way to win and keep it close, Marcos my Brazilian bookie appreciates it!

In my short stay in Brazil I didn’t get a chance to see the women’s gymnastics team, but congrats to them for taking the world to the woodshed.  Way to go girls, and finishing one-two in the all-around competition was pretty cool.  Damn, I’m starting to sound like a cocky American, and I haven’t even gotten to the swimming center!

The rumor on the streets in Rio is the U.S. swim team is secretly breathing through gills and eating the latest in protein snacks from TetraFin.  Lilly King obviously won my heart over since she is a Hoosier, but holy crap our boys and girls are kicking butt!  Did someone outfit Katie Ledecky with an Evinrude 250?  Nineteen years old and currently holds 13 world records, even Michael Phelps would have to tip his swimmers cap.

Speaking of Phelps, just wow!  I know he settled for a silver in his last race, but damn!  Chad Le Clos, don’t poke the bear!  Dude has more gold than Fort Knox these days and is doing it at 31 years old.  I had a newborn at that age just like he does, but I was looking for a bottle of No-Doz just to stay awake let alone even thinking about trying to outswim the best in the world.  I know this is supposedly his last Olympics but if this newfangled cupping technology keeps growing, I could totally see him coming back in 2020 as one gigantic bruise.

As promised I finally got a few minutes of interview time with Lilly King.  I was giddier than a kleptomaniac at an area Kohl’s.

Lilly:  You’re a blogger, how “cliché.”

Me:  You are the talk of the state!  My readers would love to hear your thoughts on the race and calling out the Russian swimmer.

Lilly:  What are you 40?  (Sizing me up as a pervert)

Me:  Nope 39, you are bigger than the Beatles right now in Indiana and USOC said I could have a few minutes of your time.

Lilly:  I don’t talk to goofy bloggers if you were from the Indianapolis Star I would consider it.  I’ll be in Tokyo in four years, see you then, chump.

So the interview went great!  Stay tuned for the full transcript, hopefully, I can enlist Bob Kravitz with some help on my interviewing skills next time!

About it for tonight, I arrived home in the states in one piece treasuring my 24 hours in Brazil.  Thankfully I didn’t get dysentary while I was there or take a Kerri Walsh Jennings spike to the noggin when I was going full tourist at the Beach Volleyball Complex.  The USOC is anxiously awaiting this post and, if I play my cards right, they promised me I get to cover the track and field events for a day next week!

 

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40 Comments

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  2. Ah that water! What really impressed me was the athletes still agreeing to use it for that day or so where they had said they didn’t know what was causing it, but it was definitely safe! We don’t know what’s happened, but we do know it’s safe, would not have convinced me. But why is it green? Why is it green? WHY IS IT GREEN?? WHY DON’T YOU KNOW WHY IT’S GREEN??

  3. It’s so cool that you got to do it, green pool water and all!

  4. I wouldn’t even wade in that pool, let alone put my face in it to risk ingestion of the water. Glad to have the inside scoop from an insider, Gary.

  5. You obviously went on the wrong day for volleyball. I’m still wondering how they avoid wardrobe malfunctions. Sounds like a whirlwind tour Gary. You wouldn’t get me into that green pool even for a medal and I’m someone who won’t go in a fun run unless there is a medal at the end!

  6. Now I know why the water was that strange color at the diving finals. YOU!

  7. Hilarious and interesting, even if your interview with Lilly King wasn’t all you had dreamed. Fun post.

  8. I sort of miss Rio. And weren’t the after-scandals, well, fun?

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  14. US Women’s gymnastics—taking the world to the woodshed – you got that right!! 🙂

  15. Rica@ Yoga Mat Monkey

    Ha ha. Phelps is racking up the gold. Perhaps he’ll become a rapper when he’s done with his water sports. 🙂

  16. It sure took them long enough to drain that green water! And wow, what a day you had! LOL Those gymnasts. Those GYMNASTS!!

  17. I still don’t give a fig about the Olympics, but I grant you the jello green water color is unnerving.

  18. Well, the water in the river in Chicago is turned green for St. Patrick’s day but the cause is food coloring! It is turned green intentially.

    Think the woman from your state that you interviewed was a LITTLE too full of herself! Your questions were not rude.

    At least you didn’t expose your little girl to the environment of Rio!

  19. Hahaha, a fabulous interview indeed. Oh those self-absorbed swimmers, LOL…oh wait, that would have been me if I was an Olympian (not). After years of operating public pools, I know that green water is a no-no. First you can’t see the bottom main drain (but I suppose it IS a controlled environment), I guess the divers won’t be playing tea party at the bottom of the pool. I heard today that the pool operator put in a chemical that neutralized the chlorine causing the algae to grow, ewww. (The commentator said, “chloride” which made me grit my teeth). Congrats to Lilly! Been loving the swimming. Got a great blog post coming up about the two Simones 🙂

    • I forgot to mention Simone the swimmer. Being the first black swimmer to ever win a gold medal is quite an accomplishment. Hopefully it inspires future generations. As for the green water, there is more competent pool operators at the Baghdad YMCA!

  20. Great post! LOL at the interview part!

  21. I would’ve jumped in the green water, looks pretty cool. That was an eventful trip, but I love the interview part!

    • Thanks pal, I was reading…err hearing stories about their is some much chlorine in those waters that it was damn near blinding. It actually come out today they are going to drain the diving pool tonight and start over.

  22. Should’ve headed to the velodrome – full of action there that would’ve kept you riveted to your seat! 😊

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