August 9, 2016...Brazil and Canada

August 9, 2016 started out with several new calls to TAM airlines to try and get some action on locating out luggage. It would be nice to get our bags back before we leave on the 23rd. Ruth actually got an agent who seemed to be somewhat concerned that we have now existed for four days without the things we had packed for the trip. Let’s hope that his concern turns into a bit of action on their part. The “girls” got into shopping mode yesterday, and did their best to put a dent in Ruth’s $1,000 insurance claim. I wandered around the mall and returned with a can of shaving cream and two new shirts that actually fit. As today is my last day of the 4 day limit on purchases, I think I will buy a new carry on, as I am beginning to doubt we will ever see our luggage again before we return to Canada. I also went to every shop that looked like it could have reading glasses, to replace a pair I left in an uber-taxi, but discovered they are not as easy to find as they are in the rest of the world. Apparently, optometrists have more political sway in Brazil than they have in Canada. You can’t buy a pair of reading glasses without a prescription.


We called an uber taxi to Canada House around 3 o’clock and spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening there. We met lots of other athlete parents and other Canadian fans because today the facility was open to all Canadian citizens. I met a Canadian expat from Dubai who was in Rio for the games, and mentioned our woes about the lost luggage and my new problem of losing my pair of arm extenders. He whipped out a metal container with a pair of glasses and said, “try these…you can have them if they work. I brought 5 pairs before we left home.” Mission accomplished…I could read again!


The women’s rugby 7s team showed up with their bronze medals proudly displayed and several other of Canada’s athletes made an appearance as well. John Gordon Perrin was not one of them. He has been totally focused on his reason for being in Rio, and other than a few texts from him on whatsapp and the few seconds we talked with him after the American game we have not communicated with him. He really does plan on being the best he can be while he is on the court and we are determined to leave him alone so he can focus on being able to do that.


We called an uber for our trip to the stadium around 8. The tickets we had were for the two games in the evening slot, which for us, was a game between Cuba and Egypt, and our game between Canada and Brazil. Although the family of athletes get no support for anything when they come to watch their children or siblings play, PetroCanada, graciously pays for two tickets for family to view the matches of their athletes. That was a big deal for us because Canada qualified late in the proceedings, and all the tickets for many of the volleyball matches were already sold out before we knew they were going to participate. The majority of the seats were already filled for the first match, but by the time our game started the entire place was packed with bodies clothed in yellow and green. The crowd was supportive of the Cuban players as they struggled to make a showing against a more aggressive Egyptian team. Many of the Cuban players looked like they were no older than fifteen or sixteen. Six of the players that actually qualified for the Olympics by defeating Canada in Edmonton, still sit in jail in Tampere, Finland where they were arrested for the rape of a Finish woman in their hotel after a game in the World League tournament. Egypt made history by winning their first match ever in Olympic competition.


By the time our game came to pass, the atmosphere was electric and the noise of the crowd was deafening. The fans were somewhat subdued when Canada won the first set, but they were right back to raising the roof when the second set got under way. Canada played well for the most part, and made Brazil work for each point they got. Unfortunately, Canada was not able to sustain the pressure they needed to win. They lost to the gold and green in four sets. Gordon was the high scorer for the Canadian team with 15 points from 13 kills, 1 block, and I service ace.


I will leave the last words to Gordon who was interviewed by an FIVB representative after the game.


John Gordon Perrin (CAN)

On where it started to go wrong for Canada after a solid start:
"They started serving a lot stronger and a lot more consistent. Our passing broke down for stretches at the wrong points and in that third set we just made a string of errors and that made the set."

On the noisy home crowd:
"We were playing the No.1 team in their home country at an Olympic Games so there were a lot of nerves and a lot of anxiety out there and I think maybe it hurt them just as much as us."

On how they will respond to the defeat:
"We need to rest and recover. We have one day and then we play France in a crucial game. They're going to be on their 'A' game because they need to win so we're going to have to match that and try to get a good result."