It’s not that big!

It’s not that big!

Here you can see Gary making small work of holding one of the worlds largest stadiums, the Estádio do Maracanã from a lofty vantage point atop the Corcovado, the peak that’s capped with the Christ Redeemer statue.

We actually went to the stadium, and saw a emotionally charged futebol (soccer) match between bitter Rio rivals Fluminense and Flamengo. Games between these two clubs are hotly contested, and are called “Fla-Flu”. It was quite an experience with fireworks, flags, the chanting of the crowd, continuosly booming drum corps, fans running en masse in the pelting rain back and forth through the empty seats to show that a massive thunderstorm directly overhead that actually knocked the power out for 10 minutes was not going to stop them from showing which team’s fans were the more dedicated. Each goal was followed by ferocious taunting of the other team. The rivalry between ‘Fla’ and ‘Flu’ even extends to our household, I am for Fluminense and Gary is for Flamengo. We bet 50 reais on the match and I am very unashamed to say that Fluminense and I won, by an embarrassing (for futebol) score of 4-1. Ha ha!

Since this was my first futebol match, and ‘Flu’ won, our friend Luis Paulo (who is also for Fluminense) is now convinced that I have ‘pe-quente’ which means ‘hot feet’ or in other words, I’m lucky for the team, and so he bought me a jersey with the number of the player who scored three of the four goals of the game.

Fa c toid: The Maracanã holds the world record for spectactors when during the 1950 World Cup Final between Brasil & Uruguay an estimated 210,000 people packed the stadium, although rennovations to the stadium have reduced it’s current capacity. For reference, the Big House in Ann Arbor can hold 107,501.

Rio de Janeiro, Brasil 2008


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