Posted: 8/10/2016


     All recent Olympic Games have stated that they intend to be carbon neutral all such crap, and then all the IOC VIPs and families fly first class, stay in 5 or 6 star hotels and have individual chauffeured limos,

     The Rio Olympics can actually say that its the GREEN GAMES. the water in the diving pool changed overnight from blue to sea green. Somethong to do with the chlorine content no doubt. With many stadiums 75% empty, muggings, including the head of Olympic security outside Maracana after the Opening Ceremony(which was only 80% full), long lines at security and overpriced accommodation, and Dilma Rousseff, the nation's president being impeached,, what else can go wrong?

    I have enjoyed the Rugby Sevens the most from the Deodoro Stadium. Rugby was last played in the Olympics of 1924 in Paris with USA being the defending champion for 92 years !  Only two teams took part in the then full size 15 a side game. In 1920 in Antwerp just 3 teams and the previous Olympics in 1912 in Stockhom again just two teams.   Rugby Sevens has long been a world wide game from Hong Kong, to Dubai, to Sydney.  The great bore of 2015 was the Rugby Union World Cup, lasting SEVEN WEEKS, with the host nation England falling at the group stages. Its not possible to fit the 15 a side version in a three week Olympic schedule with the necssary recovery time needed between matches.. 

    We had 12 nations in the women's competition over three days with Australia defeating The All Blacks of NZ in the final after Canada, who had lost to Team GB in the group stages, beatt the Brits in the bronze medal match. Two halves of 7 minutes with a two minute half time and referees keeping the matches flowing has been great sport. Yesterday the 16 team men's competition began with a surrprise defeat of New Zealand by Japan. Looking forward to another couple of days of fast paced action.

      You may have seen the recent Sao Paulo tennis tournament on FaceBook with four ball dogs instead of ball boys and girls.Frida, Isabella, Mel and Costella.  They were strays picked up and trained in the dog pound. Not used in the Olympic tournament. However what about BIG RATS being used at the FIFA World Cups to shag balls.....there are plenty of them in the FIFA offices !!!

      My tenth and probably last trip to Rio de Janeiro was two years ago for the FIFA World Cup. Most times I was out and about with my friends and we were staying in a plush apartment overlooking the LAGOA where the rowing is held. One day I ventured by myself a few blocks to nearby Ipanema Beach to take some photos. Crossing the coast road, Av, Vieira Sento on my return a young hoodlam, maybe 20 something, grabbed my phone in a claw like grip and ran off, with me chasing, unsuccessfully for a hundred metres or so.

      A week later, the day before I was flying home from Rio I got a call from a long time friend, a former Flamengo youth player, now mid 40's who now goes by 'Professor'. I had stayed with his family a number of times. The thief had sold my Samsung to a suburban shop keeper for $100 plus. The guy took it home and showed his two teenage sons. They looked at my photos of famous stars from Pele, Charlton, Carlos Alberto, Eusebio, Ferguson etc and got worried. Maybe the police could electronically track it down?. They trolled about 2,500 names and contact information I had stored with a few Brazilian names. My friend had a typical Brazilian nickname and they called him. 

      He wandered why anybody still used his nickname from 30 years ago. The guy said he had made a mistake, just wanted to return it, didn't want any money and gave his address. My friend called his brother who was in the Rio Police shock squad, and has shown me some of his bullet wounds the year before when I visited his police HQ.  The brother was still in his police car, was armed and in uniform, and both went round to pick it up.  You can imagine the scene with dad and teens expecting the big stick, but my friends just wanted the stolen phone returned to me. The afternoon of my flight I got it back. What a story, what a miracle...and a happy ending.