Wednesday, February 11, 2009

It couldn't be hotter

Since the arrival of my beach volleyball partner Ray Sewell and our physiotherapist Eric Rispens, everything in Rio has been going superbly aside from the crippling heat.  We have set up camp in our wonderful apartment just off Ipanema beach and have a full time physiotherapy clinic for ourselves as well as for other full time international beach volleyball athletes training in Rio.  With the level of activity and training that we are going through, daily massage and athletic therapy is necessary to stay healthy and strong.

There is so much happening here in Rio as emotions and events culminate for the epicenter of Brazilian culture "Carnaval" which will start next weekend.  It is a massive festival of indulgence as Brazilians prepare for 40 days of lent. The festival takes over the entire city with Samba music and street parties and the festivals epicenter revolves around an enormous Samba stadium where Rio de Janeiro Samba schools parade and compete against each other for a massively important performance title. This entire event takes over the lives of all locals and overflows onto the beaches during the day; not allowing us to train for just under a week.  Luckily for us it won't be too hard to find activities to do while we break from our intense training regime!

Another event which happens here in Rio is the "King of the Beach" which involves the top 8 players on the Brazilian Banko Tour in a large televised championship on Ipanema beach. It was a pleasure to spectate the 14th annual edition of this event and watch current beach volleyball legends battle it out in 35 degrees.  My very close friend, World Tour point champion and Ipanema born and raised local, Pedro Solberg Selgado won the king title over his new and current partner Pedro Cunha.  Both were the youngest to compete in the event and demonstrated the athleticism of the new generation of athletes filtering into the sport.  It was a superb event and truly demonstrated the significance of the beach lifestyle in Rio de Janeiro.  It would be such a treat to have a beach volleyball following of that magnitude in Canada. Having the fan base and corporate interest would expose the truth of it being the most exciting summer sport! 

Ray and I will be playing the top Dutch team training in Rio tomorrow morning and I hope to post a highlight video of that game by this weekend. I have also posted a few other highlight videos of our 2008 season games and will post those links soon.

Sending the excess warmth of the southern hemisphere north to Canada where I hear it is a tad bit chilly.



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