by Brian Chick
SAO PAULO – As of today, we’re halfway through the public lifespan of the Neutrogena Curling Arena. Five days down, with five days to go.
So far at least 500 people have come through. I’m not sure of the exact numbers. Many people have come more than once, and some kids came three times in two days. Last weekend there was literally a line out the door when we showed up. I recall Chad saying that weekends are the super-popular mall time.
The media continues to come out in droves Terra.com.br has come back three times and Disney TV was here yesterday, along with more radio and website reporters, and two more TV crews are scheduled for today. Veja Sao Paulo – the highest circulated weekly magazine – listed their pre-launch story titled “Curling at Shopping Eldorado” as their number one retweeted article.
Our Brazilian crew has also become fairly independent. MacGyver (aka Kleverson) handles the ice, and has it all scraped and pebbled before we arrive. This morning he did some spot repairs where some divots/holes were appearing.
The ice is actually quite good, and certainly acceptable for a learning event in Brazil. I’ve played on much WORSE ice in Canada!
Our teams of instructors can now run their 45-minute classes without us, which affords Hollie and myself some time off to see Sao Paulo, and get some much needed rest... or to shop... or to do our actual Canadian work. Hollie is busy with applications to law internships, and I’m trying to get my projects done... in between caipirinhas.
They still have the odd question for us, such as about the nuances of the the rules, strategy, or why the rocks at the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver had blinking lights on them. But for the most part, they’re running their own show.
This week’s edition of “Brian and Hollie’s Crazy Brazilian Experience” took us to a Capoeira gym. Fabio of Ginga,brasilis is a high level practitioner of this Brazilian martial art/dance, and wanted to ensure that we experienced it first-hand.
Fabio took us to BerimBrasil Capoeira where we learned the “basics” from Master Wellington. The basics include the basic steps, attacks, dodges, and of course one-handed cartwheels. This was a BEGINNER’S class. The point of a capoeira game is not to actually fight, but to make it look like you are... but all in an elaborate improvised choreography. It is quite a workout, and it was an amazingly fun experience.
Master Wellington and Fabio were both impressed with our first attempts, and I am seriously looking into classes back home in Toronto. I’m also planning on using some of the moves I learned as part of my group’s warm up sessions next week... at the Trillium Curling Camp!