Don’t get me wrong – the bits between the two ceremonies were excellent and kudos to the athletes and crowds over two weeks, not forgetting the camera work. Many people mentioned the Brazilian contribution, including the Guardian during the closing ceremony:
Right, now Brazil have promised us some samba and a dancing street sweeper. One thing’s for sure – it can’t be as bad as the one we did in Beijing.
Good value, the Brazilians.
There’s a minor storm over in America over the way the U.S. women’s volleyball team was insulted by Brazil and so you can judge for yourself below [part of the Any Excuse syndrome]. I was flabbergasted by them when they entered the stadium:
Note the American faces:
In came the U.S. and Japan and as everyone else has done at the games, they stood respectfully behind their tiers. Not so the Brazilian girls. You can see that they can’t stand still and keep your eye on the one fourth from our right:
You see her now go into dance moves, while the others watch:
… and suddenly they’re all into it again – at the podium!
The American girls are not impressed. They take their silver medals in the orthodox way:
… and I’m a bit disappointed in Logan Tom who, though always a bit of a sourpuss which she interprets as committed and serious, might have allowed a bit more than the barest cheek kiss by the officials who, in this case, were presenting the medals in a friendly, professional manner. Well, as the U.S. had just lost an “in the bank” game, that’s understandable, s’pose.
So now the camera panned across to the Brazilians for their presentation and guess what – they weren’t there! They’d disappeared. LOL. The camera panned down and there they all were, beating on the rostrum like war drums:
… their name was called and they all leapt up onto the rostrum:
Wow, thought I – are they being exuberant or are they disrespectful to the solemnity of the occasion or what? They were awesome. Seriously kicking myself for missing their games. Surely they’ll now calm down and do the medals presentation all standing in line? Nope, not a bit of it. They’re all dancing:
… and the putting of the medal round the neck is in complete contrast to the American reserve – just look at the eye contact from the player:
I know that smile very well from Russia and it puts strain on the heart. What an amazing lot these Brazilians are. Jacqueline Carvalho [I know these things - she was voted the MVP, by the way]:
… doesn’t seem interested in anything but the camera shots on the smartphone of her mate:
… and then discusses some vital point in the Brazilian way:
… whilst another examines her medal in a better light:
Note the official – he doesn’t seem perturbed at all that they can’t keep their minds on the job at hand:
Jacqueline Carvalho decides to eat hers:
And then realizes its her turn for the bouquet:
… not holding back with the official [lucky bstd]:
I noticed they all hugged him in that way [cf. with the reserved Americans] and he had a very, very big smile on his face. So all of that is amazing and then the way they just have no concept of the gravity and solemnity of an occasion:
… yet they can certainly feel pride and passion:
But only for some time – then it’s back to the dancing:
… all of this in the space of time they were on that podium. I think the expression is “blown away”. However, the Americans, as has been said, were less than impressed and it took the veteran Logan Tom:
… who travels internationally as part of her sport, to set matters straight.
“I did tell them, ‘Get your asses down from the podium’ or whatever before you celebrate. It’s just a respect kind of thing,” said Logan Tom, a 4-time Olympian for the U.S.
“A lot of them are my friends. They celebrated a little differently than I would say Americans do. So I let it slide,” said Tom. “It’s their culture. They can celebrate how they want to celebrate.”
“I’m used to it. It’s their way of culture. They have a different way of thinking when it comes to their crowds. I don’t take it as an insult, even if it might seem like it. But it’s not,” said Tom.
“They’re very hot-blooded. You know, South Americans, they like to dance, shake their booty. They are who they are. I am who I am.”
The U.S.A. coach agreed. “Hey listen, it’s their journey. If that’s the way they choose to [celebrate], I’ve got no issue with that. Let ’em run around, do whatever they want to do. It’s not an issue for us,” said McCutcheon, who coached the U.S. men’s volleyball team to gold in 2008.
Agreed and yet there is something I very much did not like with these Brazilian girls … when they finally departed:
That, admittedly, was a bit of a hollow feeling. Now we must wait four more years and in the meantime, make do with youtube: