While the London Olympics 2012 has already been named the greenYgrey games, and Rio 2014 the greenYgrey world cup, Brazil winning the Olympics men’s football in such dramatic style, and Team GB winning a record-breaking amount of medals, has forced me to put in some overtime, to declare the Rio 2016 Olympics the greenYgrey legacy games.
That’s mostly because of Team GB, but Brazil has always been a bit special, due to their footballing passion and then providing three amazing sights on my journey through the country, only from Paraguay to Rio: the Pantanal, Iguazu Falls and Rio itself. So this first part of my greenYgrey legacy games focuses on Brazil.
Brazil Win Record Medals
The Brazil men’s football team won Olympic gold in dramatic fashion, with star player Neymar scoring the winning penalty in a 5-4 win; exactly the same as Leeds beat Fleetwood a couple of weeks ago, and mentioned on this blog, although the order was different, with Leeds taking their penalties first, and Brazil taking theirs second.
I think this was coincidence rather than the Leeds win influencing the Brazil one.
As that blog post combined green pools with Green the goalie, there was another classic combining of green during the Olympics football final. Brazil wore their classic yellow and green shirts, while Germany had a subtle dark green and grey shirt, with a yellowish badge.
So with more than a hint of parody, it wasn’t surprising that the two teams were locked at 1-1 when extra-time ended. However, then the goalies took centre-stage, and while Brazil’s wore all green, the German goalie wore red. So it was no surprise to me that the Brazilian goalie saved the fifth German penalty, and Neymar won the game with Brazil’s fifth successful penalty out of five.
Individual Golds for Silvas
Germany’s Rohler won the men’s javelin the same night, which was worth the same as the Brazil football win on the medals table, and probably meant as much to most of the German public… to everybody not involved somehow with the football team anyway.
It seems unbalanced that an individual winning with nine throws over three days can count as much as a team playing six games over two weeks, but there is much in the Olympics that doesn’t balance: such as both boxing semi-finalists getting bronze, while losing taekwondo semi-finalists have to fight again for a bronze.
Anyway, I have digressed. Getting back to Brazil, there was a magical individual gold before the men’s football team won theirs, as Thiago Braz da Silva beat his personal best by over 10cm to win gold. If he’d allowed wordplay to get in his way, he would surely have accepted silver.
Moreover, Rafaela Silva made it a double Silva gold for Brazil in the women’s judo 57kg. In fact, Rafaela won her gold a week before Thiago, but I only saw it afterwards.
Of course, the Silvas did not face the same wordplay difficulty as an English language born Silva for at least two reasons. The English language Silva would probably be called Silver, the exact same as the colour Silver; while silver in Portuguese, the language of Brazil, is prata.
So the Silvas in fact probably felt no silver destiny at all, unless they were reminded of it a lot by English language speaking people.
In contrast, the greenYgrey started off with silver, before achieving gold…
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