Brian Chick and Hollie Nicol are the Canadian curling instructors for next week’s Neutrogena curling promotion in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
by Brian Chick
WARNING: There is not much curling in this blog post!
Yesterday afternoon fellow instructor Hollie was splashing around in the ocean, while I was lying on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro. I thought to myself, “How did curling bring me here?”
Truth be told, curling brought us to Brazil; it was really our own decision to spend a few days in Rio before heading to our final destination, Sao Paulo. Either way… the reason we are in Brazil is indeed, the Olympic winter sport of curling, otherwise known as The Roaring Game.
We left Toronto on Saturday afternoon, on our way to Atlanta. After a four-hour layover there, we were on a 767 bound for Rio (side note: NEVER watch The Bounty Hunter as Gerard Butler will be RUINED for you). We landed, passed through customs and immigration, and were in a taxi to our hotel in no time.
By the time we reached downtown, it was just after 9am on Sunday, and we were confused about what was supposed to happen next. Thank goodness we could check in early.
We spent much of the first day wandering the beaches of Rio; the two most famous being Copacabana in the east, and Ipanema in the west. We watched games of volleyball, soccer, and paddleball as I enjoyed the first of a few Brahmas… and Hollie decided to try drinking from a coconut.
We then spent our evening at Estadio San Januario to see the #11 and #14 teams in Brazil play in a game that meant relatively nothing in the grand scheme of the Brazilian Football Championships. The crowd of 16,000+, however, was passionate, loud, and vulgar. The home team, Vasco da Gama, beat Vitoria 1-0.
On Monday we made our way up to the statue of Christ the Redeemer, high above Rio. Although the statue is only 30 metres tall, it can be seen from most corners of the city, as it is perched on Corcovado, a mountain 750 metres high.
The most famous landmark in Brazil is, unsurprisingly, almost certainly outdone by the 360 degree view of city – everything from favelas (slums) to mountains, gorgeous beaches and ocean are amazing to view while standing on the top of the peak… which is sure to become one of the most filmed and photographed landmarks as the 2016 Olympic Games draw closer.
Before heading off to Sao Paulo today, we managed to squeeze in one more amazing adventure.
The hang-gliding we had scheduled for Monday was cancelled due to excessive winds and clouds, but this morning’s attempt was… successful!
Thrilling? Oh yes… just imagine taking off from a mountain, 1,500 up, and landing on a beach. Priceless.
On to Sao Paulo, where we will meet up with Chad, Mark and the gang at Ginga,brasilis and check out the ice!
Photos by Brian Chick and Hollie Nicol: click on any image to increase viewing size.
And be sure to check The Curling News Blog, and our Twitter feed, often as we bring readers exclusive, behind-the-scenes updates on South America’s first-ever live curling experience!