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.
By Nancy B. Anderson
RIO DE JANEIRO -- We all arrived without any problems on Friday. Rio is a very busy city, with a lot to do. Our accommodations in Ipanema are wonderful, safe and close to many restaurants, shops and the Metro Rio railway, which is key for getting around this city. The beautiful Ipanema beach is just two blocks away, and it is only a 15-20 minute walk to Copacobana beach.
We were able to get to the USA House, where they held a welcome reception for all of USA volleyball and their families.
This is where we were finally able to see Matthew, as well as his teammates and their families.
We got to spend a nice afternoon together, and continued to hangout at the viewing room to watch the USA women's volleyball team beat the Netherlands. We were also able to meet a couple other Olympians. We passed by Greg Louganis, met fencer Miles Chamley-Watson and also met 2016 Olympic shooting bronze medalist Corey Cogdell. She even let us see the medal!
There are a lot of open air markets here, including fruit and produce and what they call the "Hippie Fair" which has all types of jewelry, paintings and souvenirs. We also ran into the filming of the Today Show, and met Al, Hoda and Jenna -- we even got a hug from Hoda and a picture with Al and Hoda.
Now on to the games.
The arena is an amazing atmosphere to watch a match, with the music, dancing and crowd participation. It's also awesome to see so many American flags (and even the Buffalo Bills flag!). The Brazilians, are usually cheering against us, but have explained that it's because they fear playing us.
Yes, we are all disappointed in the results so far, but the guys are all starting to play better and really coming together each game.
Let's go USA!
A very proud Mom,
Nancy B. Anderson