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Across the Equator

South American Adventures

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Sports on the Beach
losmorris
When you think about Rio de Janeiro what usually comes to mind? Carnaval certainly and lots of tiny thong bikinis on the beach I’ll bet. Both of those are certainly true and the latter image is very common. So let me get that out of the way before proceeding…

On the beach – or frankly within 5 or 6 blocks of the beach - a state of relative “undress” is common. While this anonymous woman pulls it off quite nicely, that cannot always be said for the general population. The beauty of Rio is that the people here enjoy being outside in weather appropriate dress and apparently are not hung up on body shape or condition. Thongs (or fio dental – dental floss) and Speedos (sungas) are worn by all – proudly sharing their flesh with the world. It’s kind of refreshing actually and has helped me to overcome my timidness and purchase my own dental floss bikini.

But on to the sports life here. The love of the outdoors is universal and sports are certainly a way to participate in fresh air and scenic beauty. So here is a sampling of the sports life in the community.

Sundays on the beach – For starters, the city promotes outdoor activities by shutting down several lanes of traffic on the beach on Sundays and holidays. So instead of the mass movement of buses, taxis and cars the lanes of traffic supplement the sidewalk and bike path to provide space for thousands of cariocas (residents of Rio) to come enjoy the beach.


Muscle Beach is a portable gym that, during our stay here, has thus far shown up on the Lagoa, on Copacabana and on Ipanema beaches.


The gym looks to be fully equipped with weights, machines and trainers and classes are offered throughout the week. As summer approaches I wonder how popular the outside sweating will be – I will stick with my lovely air conditioned gym.


Exercise Stations In addition to the formal gym set up at Muscle Beach, there are exercise stations all along the beach and they get a lot of use. Here, for example, is the famous body builder Ricardo pulling his own weight on the beach.
and again



Not a bad setting to show off the benefits of all that time in the gym……

Futebol (soccer) and football (American style) are also popular on the beach. Teams have uniforms, referees and scheduled time on their plots of sand as well as pretty good fan following. This was the women’s league play of American style football

And the guys in a futebol tournament

This particular tournament included a non-sand version as well with demonstrations and comfort seating for the fans (

Children are very special in Brazil so they are not left out of beach sports. Sure there is sand castle building and playing in the waves, but also the opportunity to prepare for off road adventuring and car racing. Motorized and pedal powered kids vehicles are out in large number on the Sundays and holidays when the beach road is closed to bigger vehicles.
And, to ensure a full body workout for the little tykes, there are trampolines available for their use.

Volleyball is also big but my very favorite sport is tough to get on film. The sport is a combination of soccer and volleyball – same net and surface area as a volleyball court but with soccer rules. No hands are allowed so the ball has to get over the net by use of head, chest and leg shots. It’s great to watch but tough to get on film – I’ll see what I can do.

Beach Security is important with all these folks out and about exercising with family and a few beers. And Rio has security all over the beach. There are the mobile patrols on their Segways and the stationary police stations that are set up on the beach. This just does not look like a bad job!

Kite Surfing is big on windy days


Night Life – and finally a little refreshment and music while resting those weary bones…..


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