Rio 2016: Textbook Examples

01_rio_0801016Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Denis Gargaud Chanut of France celebrates after winning the men’s canoe single final in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games at Whitewater Stadium.

I believe one of the most inspiring things a person can do in life is to be genuinely gracious towards someone who’s come out ahead of them. I’m extremely fortunate that, back home, in my inner-circle of friends, we’re continuously celebrating each others’ accomplishments, even if one or more members of the circle could be viewed as “ahead” of the others at a given time. I think we’ve all realized that the more people we surround ourselves with who are achieving their goals and dreams, the more likely that their momentum of success will transfer to us with regards to our pursuits.

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Rio 2016: Times Like This

01_rio_080616 Aug 5, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Fireworks launch over the stadium during the opening ceremonies for the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games at Maracanã.

Over the past couple of days, I’ve become keenly aware of something quite profound occurring here in Rio – I feel removed from myself, almost as if I’m dreaming. I should probably clarify that I still feel like myself, in essence. However, being immersed in such a foreign (both literally and figuratively) land has given me a feeling best described of having an outer-mind experience. Matters that I was concerned with at home just days ago seem trivial to me now. The experiences I’ve had here in just a few days since arriving have been quite thought-provoking and filled with some much-needed perspective.  My experience yesterday covering fireworks during the opening ceremony only compounded this feeling.

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Rio 2016: Emotional Ride

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The Milky Way Galaxy and other stars visible in the sky from a LATAM Airlines flight from Miami to Rio in the air near Puerto Rico early Wednesday, August 3, 2016.

To suggest that the past three days of prepping for, traveling to, and arriving in Rio for the 2016 Summer Olympics have been a roller coaster of emotions would be putting things lightly. In just a little over 40 hours on the ground, I’ve experienced the most heartwarming support from total strangers, the visual culture shock of the worst living conditions I’ve ever seen, and – I wish this last part was an exaggeration – the near panic-inducing horror of seeing death just feet from me.

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Landmark Anchors

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Visitors walk beneath the Gateway Arch along the Mississippi River in downtown St. Louis, Mo., Thursday, July 21, 2016.

Being born and raised just a stone’s throw from downtown Chicago, the iconic Sears Tower has always been a visual anchor of home on the horizon. If I may, before expounding any further, I will acknowledge that I just incorrectly referred to it as the Sears Tower. For, you see, there is only one person I’ll refer to as Willis, and his brother’s name was Arnold.

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Posted in Photography, Photojournalism, Travel on July 22nd, 2016. Comments Off.