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Rio 2016 Olympics

  • August 17, 2016
  • By Brittany
Rio 2016 Olympics

Hello hello!  How is your week going so far?  We just landed after a whirlwind week at the Rio 2016 Olympics.  It was crazy but so so fun.  And, of course, since the Brazilians love to party, the entire atmosphere felt like one gigantic holiday.

Normally when we go to Rio we like to stay at the Sheraton, but it was completely booked over a year in advance so we decided to check out apartments on Airbnb.  There were a number asking for a ridiculous commitment of a whole month stay for $20,000 but we managed to find a great place right on Copacabana Beach.  Talk about being in the middle of the party!

Rio Apartment

The first event we attended was gymnastics and I was so excited because it is hands down my favorite Olympic sport.  And we were even luckier because we had great seats on Level 1 and the USA was competing!  This was completely by chance since various teams were competing throughout the day and there is no way to pick and choose who you want to see.  So we got super lucky!

Rio 2016 Gymnastics Day 1

Rio 2016 Gymnastics

Above is Madison Kocian on the Uneven Bars.

The little guy helped cheer them on!

Cooper Gymnastics Comp

Our next event was swimming and while we only got to see the preliminaries, we did get a Michael Phelps showing!  At every event we went to, the Brazilians were the overwhelming majority and they cheered patriotically for their players, but they also loved to cheer for the favorites.  The crowd literally went wild when Phelps came out to swim!

Rio Swimming

Rio Swimming Michael Phelps

That is Michael Phelps at the top of the photo with the blue cap in lane 5!

Back to gymnastics on day 3 but this time for the Women’s Team Finals.  I was so so SO excited to get to see this.  Our seats were a bit higher up but with a better angle so I could watch each of the ladies compete. 

Rio Gymnastics Team All Round Finals

It was so exciting and also a bit nerve wracking.  Luckily I brought my numbers-obsessed husband with me who informed me at the start of the last rotation that the US had to score a 7 on the floor to win the whole thing.  Well, thanks for ruining that suspense!!  

Rio 2016 Gymnastics Team All Around Aly Raisman Beam

But seriously, it was amazing to watch them.  All the gymnasts are so talented and it was both exciting and emotional to listen to the USA National Anthem as the girls were given their gold medals!

 While most of our events were indoors, we lucked out on day 4 with an outdoor match.  Unfortunately the weather had other plans and we sat for three hours outside while the rain poured down on us.  To make matters worse, it is actually still winter in Rio so it was quite chilly!  But I was excited to go to my first ever rugby match.

Rio 2016 Rugby

The Hubs is a huge fan of rugby coming from Australia and so he was so pumped.  I was happy that we were playing Sevens, which basically means there are seven players on the field for each team at one time and the match is only 20 minutes long!  Phew.  We watched the USA (beat Brazil!) and our favorite, Australia (heartbreaking loss).

Rio Rugby Australia

Luckily day 5 dawned bright and sunny again, just in time for another indoor event!  Our final gymnastics event and while I’m sure the Hubs would have loved to have watched the women compete again, we had conflicting tickets so he headed off to the Velodrome for indoor cycling (not spinning, they actually ride around a track) while I took the little man as my date.

This was actually one of the more interesting competitions because it was much closer than the team finals.  The Women’s All-Round Finals really brings out the best in gymnastics so the USA didn’t have a lead 100% of the time.  We also witnessed Jade (pronounced jah-jay) from Brazil begin her floor routine only to become injured in the middle of her routine and have to stop and withdraw from the competition.  You could definitely feel the crowd’s pain.

Rio 2016 Gymnastics Individual Finals

I felt proud to be cheering on Simone Biles and Aly Raisman from the USA.  They both competed so well and definitely earned their positions of 1 and 2!  It is amazing to watch these petite ladies absolutely kill it during their routines.  Petite girl power!

We finally took a break from the continuous competition to spend some time at the beach.  Copacabana is party city.  There is music, people, vendors and all kinds of crazy.  It is honestly the busiest beach experience I’ve ever had.  I wouldn’t rate it high for relaxation but it was definitely fun.  Plus there are these little luncheonettes that sit right on the beach so you can enjoy a caipirinha under the palm trees.


lunch in rio

Our last day of competition was track and field and it was jam packed.  There is so much going on with the preliminaries, the finals, the triple jump and the high jump PLUS the victory ceremonies from the day before.

Rio track

We cheered for the US and Australia and were excited to see some good performances from both teams.  But the best event of the night was the Men’s 100M final where we watched Usain Bolt barely have to try to beat everyone and make history!  It was so crazy!

Rio track and field Usain Bolt

Rio Usain Bolt

Finally, I feel like I would be remiss without addressing the fact that Rio is not all fun and games.  Many of you probably heard the issue with Ryan Lochte being robbed at gunpoint.  Unfortunately, that is not unusual in Brazil, especially Rio, which attracts a great deal of tourists.  I can say that Ryan was lucky not to have been hurt and people rarely are provided they cooperate.  He took a huge risk with his life by refusing to get down when told.  I am sure that all the athletes were briefed on safety protocols and since this is not an uncommon crime, I would assume they told them to just surrender anything on you and don’t put up a fight.  That is exactly what you should do in this situation as the people who get hurt generally are the ones that don’t just hand over their possessions.  I think this is a good lesson for us, especially coming from a country where the police must have probable cause and robbers are normally caught, when you leave the USA remember that you are now on their turf and their rules apply.  Unfortunately, in many circumstances that means are giving up some of the bravado we might normally display.

Sunset in Rio

Readers, what is your favorite Olympic sport?  Where would you travel to see the Olympic Games?

By Brittany, August 17, 2016
  • 12
  • Shawna
    August 17, 2016

    Ahhhh so amazing that you were there! I’m totally a gymnastics gal also — took it growing up and have been a fan since I was super young — and have been watching it religious live on my computer at work every day. So excited for the USA girls. Love that you got to see them!! I enjoy watching the girls’ track races also.

    • FitBritt
      August 29, 2016

      It was seriously so cool. I’ve loved watching gymnastics for so long even though I was a dancer not a gymnast. The girls were so so good!

  • Allie
    August 18, 2016

    I have loved following you though the Rio Olympics! This post was fantastic and looks like you had such an amazing experience…except for maybe the rugby in the rain 🙂 And yes. the last issue you addressed is a big one but obviously you need to protect your life before your possessions. Hoping no one else is seriously injured there as the final week wraps up.
    Any plans to watch the triathlon? I’m hoping I can catch some of it although I don’t think it’s supposed to be televised… maybe next time…

    • FitBritt
      August 29, 2016

      Unfortunately we didn’t get to see the triathlon but the entire experience was pretty cool. Even rugby in the rain was fun! 🙂

  • Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness
    August 18, 2016

    Ahh it looks like so much fun!! I definitely have watching the Olympics in-person on my bucket list. Gymnastics is definitely my favorite too! And swimming would have to be second. I’ve been watching it every night. Actually, I haven’t watched any other TV for 2 weeks now haha.

    Yeah, I have some clients that are in Rio providing tech for broadcasting of the games, and from what I’ve heard, it definitely sounds like safety can be shaky there. An employee for one of my clients was robbed, and when he went to the police station to file a report, he said it was full of Olympics tourists filing the same complaints. Oy! It’s unfortunate.

    • FitBritt
      August 29, 2016

      Yeah, it is a Brazil-wide problem and unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. The system is very corrupt!

  • Kayla
    August 20, 2016

    SO amazing that you were there! I can’t even imagine what the energy was like watching the USA gymnastics ladies totally crush it!

  • Holly
    August 22, 2016

    What great events you saw at the Olympics–lucky you! Cooper looks like he had some fun and that he was well attended to! YES, I so wanted to travel to see the Olympics but other things, like a new baby, took precedence which is certainly fine. I have been to Rio and it is amazing-just like your photos!!!

  • Joi @ Rx Fitness Lady
    August 22, 2016

    This is so awesome! I agree with you that Simone and Aly were so fun to watch (on TV for me). Madison was amazing on those bars as well. I watched so much of the Olympics but gymnastics has always been my favorite since I was a little girl. I just found out that there are a host of volunteer and some paid pharmacists on duty at the Olympics…who knew. I am so trying to get on the list for 2020.

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