Monthly Archives: August 2016

MY OLYMPICS JOURNEY: Getting up-close and in the clouds in Rio

“It is what it is.”

That’s the sentence I heard from several of my colleagues as we stood among the clouds, barely able to see ten feet in front of us.

The site? Corcovado Mountain in Rio de Janeiro. It’s most famous for the landmark that stands atop it: the Christ the Redeemer statue, which stands 124 feet tall and in 2007 was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Hundreds of visitors flock daily to the statue, but they equally admire the views that extend from it.

Not on this day.

We found ourselves awash in a mixture of fog, mist, and full-on rain. We had seen peeks of the vistas as we rode a cable car to the top, but by the time we arrived, we could hardly see the statue.

It is what it is.

And, in this case, “what it is” was pretty freaking surreal.

The statue of Christ the Redeemer seemed like a silhouette in the distance, even as it towered over us. I could not help but be impressed and awed.

We visited the statue as part of a day-long tour arranged by NBC. We hit a number of Rio’s most iconic spots and came upon a barrage of beautiful views and eclectic sights.  I plan to put together a full video report about the day, but in the meantime I figured I could provide a photo gallery so you can see what I saw.


MY OLYMPICS JOURNEY: I’m my own boss. And I’m working myself wild.

I have always fancied the life of an entrepreneur.

“I have good ideas,” I think to myself. “How romantic would it be to seize one of them, start my own business, and be my own boss? Wouldn’t it be nice to have all the control?”

Then I talk with friends of mine who run their own companies, and I immediately come back to reality.

The entrepreneur’s life is as daunting as it as rewarding. Such a person must serve as a company’s permanent last line of defense, working to exhaustion to push forward his or her product. One must possess an extraordinary drive and passion to do it well. When I remember that, I more greatly appreciate my non-entrepreneurial existence.

But at the Olympics, I get a taste of what such a life would be like.

And, it turns out, I’m a pretty demanding boss.


MY OLYMPICS JOURNEY: Life out here is just … different

This is me.

This is me, above, on the bus home after a 14-hour workday, writing this blog entry.

This is me, below, working so late that I missed the cafeteria dinner and had to settle for a cup of yogurt.

(And they had no spoons or forks left, so I drank it out of the cup.)


This is me on a relatively light day covering the Olympics.

And it’s only Day 1.

I have received this assignment twice before, at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. As a result, I know quite well how I will likely, over the next few weeks in Rio de Janeiro, redefine a “normal workday”.


MY OLYMPICS JOURNEY: Rio is stunning, on the surface

There’s a feeling that hits me every time I travel that reminds me why I travel.

It happens early in the trip, usually within a few hours of landing at the airport.

You see, I love the jolt I receive when I first click “BOOK” on a flight to an uncharted destination. I swell with anticipation and wish I could pack my bags and depart that minute. But then I return to real life, focus on my many responsibilities at home, and struggle to regenerate that jolt of excitement. During the days leading up to a vacation, I rarely get the chance to think about it because I must complete a bunch of last-minute errands. Even when I get on the plane and land in a new city, I feel eager but also sluggish from the long flight.

Then I escape the airport and head to wherever I’m going, and soon I arrive upon some spot — a vista, building, monument, or special site – that freezes me with its power and beauty. I stop mid-conversation or mid-thought to savor the moment, and I instantly think (sometimes out loud): “Wow … this is cool. This is why I wanted to come here.”

It happened again Sunday, roughly two hours into my current travel experience: a three-week trip to cover the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.



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