As I stroll along through my summer, I realize that the start of Rio 2016 Olympics are only two weeks away. It takes me back to the very first Olympics that I can remember as a child. The 1984 Los Angeles Olympics were historically significant for many political reason, but it is significant for me because it was the very first Olympic games I remember and attended. I’m so glad that my father made the effort to take his only little girl down to the Coliseum in the summer heat so I could witness history and create a significant memory in our lives.
I remember the Olympic Torch was significant that year. The 1984 Olympic Torch Relay began in New York City and ended in Los Angeles, traversing 33 states and the District of Columbia. Unlike later torch relays, the torch was continuously carried by runners on foot. The final runner, Rafer Johnson, winner of the decathlon at the 1960 Summer Olympics, touched off the flame which passed through a specially designed flammable Olympic logo, igniting all five rings. The flame then passed up to a cauldron atop the peristyle and remained aflame for the duration of the Games.
The famous theme for the Olympiad, “Olympic Fanfare and Theme,” played in the background. The Brazilian composer Sérgio Mendes also produced a special song for the 1984 Olympic Games, “Olympia,” from his 1984 album Confetti. A choir of approximately one thousand voices was assembled of singers from the LA region. Everyone volunteered from nearby churches, schools and universities. The official Rio 2016 theme song was revealed months ago. It’s called ‘Heart and Soul’ by Projota and Thiaguinho. The Brazilian classic “Life of a Traveler”, penned by Brazilian legend Luiz Gonzaga, has been given a modern twist to become the official song of the Torch Relay.
The music of the Rio 2016 Olympics has the heart and soul of Brazil drawing on Brazil’s varied musical heritage. Brazilians are all about playing hard and putting your heart into everything. With this tone and the nonstop action during the Olympics, the international atmosphere will be second-to-none in Brazil.
What you need to Know While Visiting Rio
Fans from around the world should have an experience that they will never forget and I wanted to throw in my two cents about Brazil in case you are still searching for places to go and eat while visiting Brazil during the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Traveling to Brazil
Tourists traveling to Brazil this summer are now in luck, Brazilian officials have announced they are temporarily waiving visa requirements for travelers in the country from June 1 through September 18. In addition to U.S. tourists, the visa waiver also applies to citizens holding passports from Japan, Australia, and Canada. To ease travel for the 2016 Summer Olympics, Brazil will allow U.S. tourists to enter the country for up to 90 days without a visa.
4 Eateries To Try While At Rio 2016 Olympics
Food is a treasured part of carioca (resident of Rio de Janeiro) life. With roots in African, Amerindian and European epicurean traditions, the tastes of the Marvelous City range from meat-centric churrascarias, hearty feijoadas, vibrant street food and upscale, gourmet selections – all best accompanied by Brazil’s national cocktail, the tangy caipirinha.
While in Brazil why not take advantage of being in such close proximity to one of the top 50 best restaurants in Latin America. In the fine dining category Olympe upholds the best combination of French and Brazilian taste and is Michelin rated. The menu offers an excellent choice of dishes, cooked to order, each dish comprising a beautiful balance of tastes, bringing together a magical blend of Brazilian ingredients and French artistry so famously depicted by Chef Claude Troisgros on Brazilian TV.
Because of the large Arabic community living in Brazil, Rio has become a gastronomic hub for Middle Eastern food as well. And when Cariocas want the best from that region, they head to Amir. Amir is within easy walking distance of some of the good hotels overlooking the Copacabana Beach and well worth the walk. The rustic Middle Eastern restaurant serves regional specialties like falafel, kibbeh & lamb. The food is as genuine as anything you will eat in the Middle East or Morocco. Sit outside and enjoy the atmosphere, food and friendly service.
3. Fogo De Chao
When in Brazil, a Churrascaria is a must try. Fogo De Chao is an upscale Brazilian Steakhouse (Churrascaria in Brazil) located in Botafogo, one of the hottest neighborhoods in Rio. It is set up like a typical Churrascaria, boasting an all-you-can-eat feature. Meats are carved right at your table and an extensive salad bar is at your grace. For amazing ocean views, their Barra da Tijuca location is a great dining experience and a perfect dining option if you’re attending competitions at the Olympic Arenas in Barra da Tijuca.
4. Confeitaria Colombo
Confeitaria Colombo (Confectionery Colombo) is probably one of the most reminiscent eateries of the bygone era, located in the historic center of Rio de Janeiro, it is one of the main sights at the center of Rio de Janeiro, worth a visit and a good place to have a little lunch during a visit of the city center.
The most charming confectionery in town was founded in 1854 and its makeover of 1913 was inspired by the broader urban renewal that had overtaken Rio de Janeiro around the turn of the century. It remains almost exactly the same as it was after the 1913 reopening. A flamboyant architecture in Art Nouveau style with enormous jacaranda-framed mirrors from Belgium, stained glass from France, and tiles from Portugal are among the art nouveau decor’s highlights.
Tabletops are Italian marble and the light fixtures are from France.
At the turn of the 20th century, the belle époque structure that houses Confeitaria Colombo was Rio’s preeminent café, the site of elaborate balls, afternoon teas for upper-class senhoras, and a meeting place for Intellectuals and politicians. In 1922 the storage room on the second floor was reformed into a tea room
Diners come to nibble on above-average salgados (savory snacks) and melt-in-the-mouth sweet treats. The waffles here are a local legend. Savory pastries are stuffed with shrimp and chicken, and vegetarian nosh includes spinach and ricotta quiche and heart-of-palm pie. You can wash it all down with a creamy coffee, a European lager, or a fruity cocktail served either virgin or laced with alcohol. If you want to experience the opulent side of city life, do so the way Rio’s high society did a century ago: with chá da tarde, or afternoon tea.