Saturday, September 17th, 2005 was ARRIVAL DAY, and in general terms things went as per plan!!
Some, such as the Cowells may not be in complete agreement with my assessment as they were unable to make the required flight connection ~~ through no fault of theirs, and by necessity will be arriving on Sunday, Sep 18th. (Click on ANY pic to expand)
For the Eastern Canadians, their air journey began in Toronto at 17:00 with a 3 hour flight to Houston TX. From Houston we had a 9.5 hr flight to Sao Paulo, Brazil, followed by a 25 min flight to Rio!!! At Houston we met up with the Western Component of the Canadian Team, had but a few minutes together before boarding the plane for the long haul to Rio. The majority of the Canadians arrived in Rio at noon on Saturday; the Americans about 10:00. Bus transportation from the Airport in Rio to our Hotel in Niteroi went without a hitch. You will not be surprised that half of us were in need of a shave, and all of us needed nourishment!!
That needed nourishment was available upon arrival at our Hotel. Just a great lunch in an enjoyable setting. Following lunch, and following a shower, many adjourned to the patio where we sampled some great local brew!! Dinner, keeping to Brazilian custom, began at 19:00. The dinner was of course far more than partaking of food!! It was the first occasion where all the players gathered at the same location at the same time. The conversation never ended; there was no end of great food; and try as we might, we could not seem to diminish the supply of “suds”!!
Michael ended with a prayer, a prayer with a good deal of humility and humour!! He then introduced our translators, about 7 attractive young women and 1 young man. The translators will be with us throughout the tournament and for their work they will receive a credit to assist in their academic studies. The Japanese translator was unavailable for the Dinner but will be arriving tomorrow.
All in all, a great start, everyone was in high spirits and looking forward to the coming week. While I cannot speak for all, I was very tired, ready to “hit the pit” early, circa 22:00, and never woke until the alarm went off at 06:30. Some told me that a “friendly rooster”, adjacent to our hotel, began crowing at 04:30!!
Stan McCormack from Rio de Janeiro Reporting for THE SHUFFLER: 2005 09 17. >> and repeating, adding pix, on 2017 07 05.