It was a relaxing weekend around here, with lots of puttering around the house and one little outing to church on Sunday morning. It was a perfect weekend for watching the Olympic excitement and learning new things.
We enjoyed the colorful opening ceremonies that gave an extensive history of Brazil, although it seemed to go on a long time (probably because we were watching it on delay here in the States and had to endure commercials as well). I learned (or actually re-learned something I should have remembered from my school days) that Brazil is the largest country in South America and 60% of it is rain forest. The portion of the ceremony warning against global warming, with the little boy wandering around and finally finding a plant, reminded me of a similar scene in the Wall-E movie.
During the Parade of Nations, I learned that there are only two South America countries that do not border Brazil - Chile and Ecuador. I also realized that there are a ton of countries I've never heard of (or don't recall), many of them in Africa. (I looked it up and there are 50+ African countries.)
I was thrilled to learn that the nations were entering the arena in alphabetical order . . . in the Portuguese language, which meant the United States ( Estados Unidos) arrived much earlier than usual in the program . . . and we were able to get to bed at a decent hour, despite having to miss the torch lighting. We also missed the Olympic Refugee Team, which is a first for this year's Olympic games, but I saw later that they received a standing ovation.
As the weekend progressed, I also realized that there are a good many sports that I didn't know were part of the Olympics. In fact, the the first US gold medal was won in shooting! I tend to watch just a few favorite sports, so I missed the medals the US has also earned in archery and fencing. However, I did watch live swimming as Katie Ledecky won her first 2016 gold medal in the Women's 400m Freestyle race and Michael Phelps racked up his 19th Olympic gold as part of the Men's 4x100m Freestyle Relay team. And I enjoyed watching the US Women's Gymnastics Team rank first in the qualification session yesterday.
For the first time ever, this weekend we watched several beach volleyball games. This year Olympic beach volleyball is being played on the sands of Copacabana beach, a real beach, not a makeshift beach created for the Olympic games. Saturday night was the first ever midnight Olympic beach volleyball game! Luckily it was a weekend night and Brazil is two hours ahead of us, so I was able to watch as Kerry Walsh-Jennings and April Ross crushed the Australian team.
Have you been watching the Olympics? What interesting things have you learned along the way?
Joining in today with Sian, a wonderful raconteur, for her Memorandum Monday meme sharing something NEW (something you did over the weekend FOR THE FIRST TIME or something you learned and DIDN'T KNOW BEFORE).