Germany's Isabell Werth, riding Weihegold Old, reacts after winning a silver medal in the equestrian dressage individual competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 15, 2016. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher
August 16, 2016

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) The roads of the Deodoro twist and turn through residential areas, past markets where locals eat lunch outside and parks where children fly paper kites.

Grassy hills frame the region to the north and creeks weave through the middle, around ramshackle homes shrouded in trees.

Joggers mix with dog walkers and mothers pushing strollers down the sidewalks, passing groups of military personnel every few hundred yards.

The Deodoro cluster of venues is one of four at the Rio de Janeiro Games, but it is a world apart from the hustling, bustling clusters near the coast.

''It's little a bit calmer than the other venues,'' said Fernando Gomez, who lives in Belo Horizonte, about five hours north of Rio. ''Both are good places to be.''

The Copacabana cluster is the most attractive and famous cluster, its beaches and iconic views of Sugarloaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer. The Barra cluster is the heart of the games, home to the main Olympic Park. Maracana is in a dense urban area with the Marcana and Olympic stadiums that hold track, soccer and the opening and closing ceremonies. Fans could also have gone to the nearby the Sambodrome - the center of Rio's Carnival celebration - to see archery.

Deodoro is far more inland than other three clusters, north of Barra, northwest of Copacabana and Maracana. Most of the venues are on the grounds of an army facility, home to the largest concentration of military personnel in Latin America with 60,000 troops.

And it seems more like a military base than an Olympic park, with troops standing on tanks scattered among the venues and chanting cadets occasionally run shirtless through the streets in formation.

Deodoro hosts 10 sports: equestrian, mountain bike and BMX racing, modern pentathlon, shooting, whitewater canoeing, field hockey, rugby and the women's basketball group stage games.

Deodoro Park has venues for field hockey, rugby, basketball and modern pentathlon. The Olympic Shooting Centre is just across a highway, accessed through a tunnel.

Whitewater Stadium and the Olympic BMX Centre are carved out the side of hills a few miles away in the Olympic X Park, with the mountain bike track just to the west. The Olympic Equestrian Centre is just a few miles south of X Park.

Deodoro Stadium was rowdy for big rugby games, as was Whitewater Stadium. The Youth Arena had a great atmosphere throughout, particularly when Brazil played, and the BMX center figures to be rocking when it starts on Wednesday.

Everything else is well, a bit more chill, the crowds smaller than the other clusters.

The stadiums for field hockey and rugby were less than half full for most early-round matches. Equestrian - except for a capacity crowd on Sunday - has been about a third full most days, though the Brazilians are passionate about show jumping, roaring whenever a horse clears an obstacle.

The shooting center had an air horn blaring from the stands the first day and Brazilian fans serenaded mustachioed independent athlete Abdullah Al-Rashidi with a chant of ''Ole, ole, ole, mustache'' in Portuguese the final day. The crowds in between were mostly smaller and less vocal.

Deodoro Park has a large area between the venues with a beer garden and picnic tables set in a strand of trees. Hundreds of fans gather daily at the tables or lay in the grass, some leaning against the trees to take a siesta.

The park can fill up quickly when there's a big game or multiple sports going at the same time, though there's usually just a scattering of people across the grounds.

The area around Deodoro Park is bustling during the day, but restaurant and bar options are limited. It's also not the safest place to walk after dark, particularly alone.

A creek runs through the grounds, but it's not a great addition; the polluted water appears to have the consistency of oil and its stench can carry to the far reaches of the park.

Deodoro is definitely unlike the other clusters at the Rio Games, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Just different.

''At Copacabana, you are inside of the city, you have people walking around, coming from different places,'' said Gomez, who traveled to Rio to see the Olympics in his home country. ''We have a little bit more space here. I like it.''

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