by Chad McMullan
SAO PAULO – Day 7 in Brasil came far too fast. With last Friday marking the final night for both Mark and I in Sao Paulo we, of course, had to have a team celebration. And this being Brasil, dinner-plus-celebrations do not even begin until the wee hours.
Saturday kicked off with a private group sponsored by the AADA (Brasilian Atopic Dermatitis Association) which included 18 kids and their families. The artwork at left appears on the AADA website; dig the Norway vs Brasil pants!
Shopping Eldorado is one of the biggest malls in Sao Paulo, and as such it was absolutely jammed full on the weekend. It’s difficult to even get around in the place. Saturday saw long lines of people waiting to try curling, as well as a constant wall of viewers taking in the action from the side boards. The Brasilian instructors – or should we start calling them future Olympians? – are completely in love with curling and spend any free minutes they have practicing – or should we say training?
The media mayhem continued as the Globo piece taped Friday went to air, as did Record – live from the rink. Here is a UOL video showing just how small this non-regulation curling club really is... and here are not one but two more videos from R7... and there’s even some criticism from the Barba e Bigode blog, which seems to have been refuted by the Curling Brasil blog (Comments section).
Basically every major media outlet has given significant space and time to this occasion and there cannot be many Paulistanos that don’t know about it. By the time you read these words it is now Day 4 of being open to the public, but this project has to be considered a massive success, even based on the amount of media coverage alone.
Also by the time you are reading this I will have actually left the country, and returned to Canada... exhausted but exhilarated with what we have accomplished here – in Sao Paulo, in Brasil, and in South America, too.
I'll have some final, departing thoughts in the next day or so but for now, the show goes on. The Neutrogena Curling Arena is still open to the public for another week, through August 22, and there are still lineups of people waiting for the crew to open for business each and every morning.