Things I learned in Rio de Janeiro

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O futebol não tem lógica. Football has no logic. Full stop. Sometimes this beautiful game may trick you into thinking that it has logic, like Neymar winning Gold in his countries famed home stadium, but don’t be fooled, this is only because the storyline ended the way you wanted it to this time. Beware of the next time.

The Olympics, and being an Olympian are unbelievably special, even if you don’t win Gold. I have always been an insane fan of the Olympic games. I watch every event, every backstory, watched the tears fall from athletes’ eyes as their hard earned Gold medal is placed around their neck. As it was in London, it was in Rio, an absolute childhood dream come true.

The Olympics are definitely more awesome when you win Gold. You have somewhat of a singular focus for a year, or many years. To perform your skill, to play your sport and your position to the best of your ability, better than everyone else’s ability, to win Gold. The disappointment of not reaching your goal is heart wrenching. It does not go away the next day or the next month, or probably ever. And that Gold medal is an actual ticket to anything, and anywhere you want to go!

Watching other athletes do their business is humbling to say the least! Biles, Walsh-Jennings, Ross, Phelps, Neymar JR, Marta, Bird, Taurasi, Anthony, Manuel, Williams x 2, Bolt, and the list goes on and on. The Olympics are collection of some of the greatest athletes to ever be, and will ever be– G.O.A.T.S. There is nothing that can replicate being in the stands to watch Brazil win its first ever Mens Football Gold medal, or watch Michael Phelps swim his last race, or Usain Bolt swagger across the finish line with cheeky ease one last time.

RIO is hands down one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Filled with lush green trees dropping down to white sand beaches with the island jetting out of the water. This is truly a special place with incredible energy!

RIO has some of the most stark poverty I have ever seen, and it is clear this country has a long way to go in regards to equality. While the Favelas posses an unknown energy and beauty in their own right, the mansions next door could afford to lend a little more of a helping hand.

I love my team. Through and through, this team is comprised of relentless, badass women who have the world at their feet. The future is bright when I look down the line, and I cannot wait to get back out on the pitch to start working again. We are still the best team in the world. I believe that with all my heart.

Perspective is one of the most beautiful gifts for a broken heart. Walking off the pitch in Brasilia will likely stay with me for the rest of my career, much the same is the feeling I get when I think of the city of Frankfurt. The two very biggest stages I can be on, and having to walk off in tears is not something that you lose. Nor should you. But it’s a football match. A game. Something I love very much and sink my soul into, but it is a game. And RIO was NOT a kind of place or experience that I was ever going to miss!

Pinoe

xo