Share this article

print logo

Rio Diary: Lending support to USA on the front lines

The Buffalo News is publishing Rio diaries from some of the Western New York families who have competitors at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Nancy Anderson is the mother of volleyball player Matt Anderson.

Today is Friday. It’s so hard to believe we left Buffalo a week ago.

More friends arrived Thursday and after a quick shower we were off.

The first stop was breakfast at the Gringo Cafe for blueberry pancakes, but could only finish one. Then it was on to Popeye’s Bar for beers. They even had a can of spinach with Popeye on it on the counter – so cute.

We then walked the two blocks from our apartment to the beach. We walked the beach at Ipanema and climbed the rocks. We took a ton of pictures there and in front of the Rio 2016 and #rio Twitter sign.

We then walked to Copacabana Beach where we had a few caipirinhas (a local drink made from sugarcane) and some beers. We even saw a carnival style parade dancing down the sidewalk. We also stopped at the FIVB House but it wasn’t open at the time.

In total we walked 21,470 steps and over nine miles. Then we headed back to the apartment to get suited up for Kim’s and Tim’s first “live” game.

We all donned our red, white and blue, our New Era caps, flags and signs with Matthew’s face on them.

We met up with Angie Holt and more friends for some pizza and wine before the game. Angie is a good friend of mine and Maxwell Holt’s mother.

Then the 11 of us headed off to the Metro – orange line subway to Central and then transfer to the green line to the arena. The ride is 4.10 reais or just under two dollars.

It was a little intimidating walking into the stadium where we were playing Brazil. We were outnumbered 100 to one by Brazilian fans but then we saw all of our USA family and friends. And boy did we make noise!

At first I thought it would be a hostile crowd but once our guys started playing, it was just very loud.

It was so exciting to see our team play with their hearts and souls in it! There were times we chanted “USA” over the Brazilians and other times when the whole stadium was quiet. There were heart-stopping rallies that seemed to go on forever.

Lucky for us, we were usually on the winning side of those marathon rallies. Our team really played well and we were victorious!

We then took a cab ride back for about 50.00 reais because we thought it was safer that way. We went to “our” corner watering hole and they said it was too full. So I asked if my son Josh had gone in. I told her he was the tall American in the fancy suit and showed her my picture from the game – and she let me in.

Sometimes it helps to be their mom. It was now close to 2 a.m. and time to go to bed. We woke up Friday to more walks on the beach, more caipirinhas and beers.

We had a great late lunch at Route 66 before Josh and Nicole had to pack for the airport.

Uber arrived and off to Baltimore to see two of my prettiest grand babies. I have nine of them and love them all.

Meanwhile, Saturday we play France. More friends arrive and we will be ready. Let’s go USA!

There are no comments - be the first to comment