Date: August 05, 2016
Author: Brad James in Rio

Olympic Blog: Let the Games begin

Golf Australia’s high performance director Brad James has set up camp in Rio in his role as assistant to team leader Ian Baker-Finch for the Australian Olympic golf team.

It’s safe to say the magnitude of the Games and its various precincts have been a real eye-opener for James.

Here are the first of his thoughts on what has caught his eye in the lead-up to golf’s historic return to the Olympic family …

The feeling of anticipation for the Games to begin has become progressively greater among not only the Aussie contingent here in Rio, but for all who’ve come from all corners of the globe.

The atmosphere is already big – just as the infrastructure around the event which I’d best describe as “organised chaos”.

We’ve already learnt to allow plenty of time to get around for travel anywhere – if for nothing else than to get through the loads of security check points.

Spending time in the athletes’ village has been the best part of the experience to date, with athletes from all over the world and from so many different sports.

The village is a city in itself.

Trying to accommodate everyone’s needs in the village is clearly a demanding process – different cultures, religions, preparation processes, food requirements, medical, physical, technical … it’s truly amazing to watch all the planning come together.

There is a great competitive but respectful culture in the village among all the athletes, coaches and staff – and the competition almost extends to the food hall which I’d say is like a Costco store on steroids.

The AOC, Rio 2016 workers and the IGF staff have been extremely accommodating, working long hours in sometimes difficult conditions and circumstances and, more on this next time I write, the golf course is in spectacular condition.

The athletes all want to be part of watching other sports in action – and the ticket requests for other sports is off the charts.

Amazingly, Uber is No.1 transportation method because driving is difficult with all the signage in Portuguese, not to mention the other side of the road.

And in case you’re wondering, I have seen only two mosquitoes since my arrival.

It’s Games time – bring it on!