Delving into the editions of the Olympic Games held decades back, it’s difficult to miss out on somewhat of a co-relation between facial hair and gold medallists.
The highest podium finishers from Launceston Elliot and Leonidas Pyrgos at Athens, 1896, to Mark Spitz at Munich, 1972, and Daley Thompson at Los Angeles 1984, all sported magnificent moustaches.
After a two-decade break when clean shaven looks dominated, the facial seems to be back here, but the beard has an edge over the classic moustache.
The styles vary from the full-on lumberjack look sported by the US rower Seth Weil to the quirky chin strap of Japanese water polo player Katsuyuki Tanamura and the extravagantly sculpted design worn by the US hurdler Michael Tinsley.
#RioBeard has become a trending topic on the social — er, facial — media, and the Australian Olympic Committee has even run an article on the potential for a battle of the beards at the Athletes’ Village.
Olympic Boulevard now a huge outdoor gallery of contemporary art
Stretching 3.5 km along the portside of Rio, the bustling Olympic Boulevard has become a long, outdoor gallery of public art, making it a must-see for the culturally oriented.
Many artists have put up their works along the Olympic Boulevard. Of particular interest is a mural by Rita Wainer of a young woman waiting for her sailor sweetheart to return.
Vik Muniz, a creative director of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games opening ceremony, has covered the front of an entire building with his artwork “Rumpled Uniform.”
JR, the French street artist, has installed his “Inside Out” project where members of the public are invited to take pictures inside a booth and then stick them to a side of an old warehouse or on the ground of the boulevard itself.
Foreign tourists fall in love with “Forro”
The musical forms commonly associated with the city of Rio are samba and bossa nova. But at the Barra Olympic Park, housing daily concerts from Brazilian bands and local dances, many tourists from abroad have fallen in love with “Forro”, that is normally associated with northeastern Brazil.
During a performance by the Forro Caramuela band, international sports buffs were seen merrily dancing to its beats.
According to a legend, it was either British railway engineers in the early years of the last century or US military personnel in the World War II who gave the music its name: “For all”.
Forro bands mainly comprise an accordionist, a triangle player and a zabumba drummer, alongside assorted singers and dancers.
The dance is a relatively simple two-step, especially compared to samba.