From seeing Andre De Grasse race alongside Usain Bolt to watching Brianne Theisen-Eaton receive her bronze to realizing we really enjoy triple jump, here's what went down on our first day in Rio.
Senior editor Stacy Lee Kong is in Rio de Janeiro to cover the Olympics for Canadian Living. Here's the first of her daily dispatches.
I didn't arrive in Rio until 3pm (flight delays, sigh), so day one was really more like day 0.5. But a lot happened this afternoon/evening—most importantly, the part where I got to go to Maracanã Stadium to watch my first Olympic events in person (!!), including men's high jump, women's triple jump, women's 400m and 1500m, and men's 100m.
Here are my highlights:
1. Men's 100m semi-final and final
If you ever get the chance to see Usain Bolt run in person, you should definitely take it. But while seeing this sprinting superstar run faster than I could imagine, much less imitate (seemingly without breaking a sweat!) was cool, watching Toronto native Andre De Grasse compete was actually amazing. He came in second during the semi-final race with a time of 9.92s, and won bronze during the final with a time of 9.91s. I can't even describe how it felt to watch him race alongside Usain, except maybe to say that I felt like I was watching the current king of sprinting and his more-than-worthy successor.
2. The heptathlon medal ceremony
In addition to the actual competitions happening at Maracanã, there were also a few medal ceremonies. They're not very long—you could easily miss the entire thing if you went to the washroom or to grab a snack—so I didn't expect to feel emotional over the heptathlon ceremony. But then Brianne Theisen-Eaton walked out alongside her fellow medalists. Actually being in the room when a fellow Canadian wins an Olympic medal is so cool.
3. Triple jump
I had no idea what triple jump was before tonight, and if you had described it to me, I might have thought it was a bit weird. It's sort of like long jump, but competitors must complete two horizontal jumps before leaping into a sand pit. The women's triple jump competition was set up right in front of where I was sitting and I'm now totally in awe of these athletes (like Colombia's Caterine Ibargüen, pictured above).