DOB Day 4: Opening Ceremonies. Done.

Last May, I came to Brazil to shadow surfer John John Florence and his film crew on the final surf trip for his much-awaited film, View From a Blue Moon. It was a special week.

A blurry view of Copacabana Beach from the Nike house.

A blurry view of Copacabana Beach from the Nike house.

DOB Day 3: Step To It

We’re still one day from Friday night’s Opening Ceremonies at Maracana stadium and yet the soccer tournament is two days deep (the U.S. women won their opening group play match against New Zealand 1-0) and I’ve already logged approximately 30,000 steps on my bracelet that counts your steps. This seemed like a necessary addition to my wardrobe because how would I know how many steps I took each day if I didn’t count them? Apparently it’s important to know.

DOB Day 2: Hit the Ground Sprinting

THURSDAY, AUG. 4, 2:30 a.m.

Rio Or Bust!

As I type this, I am two hours into a 10-hour flight from Houston to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a flight I’ve taken four times before, but for many reasons feels different this time. (Still no WiFi, though.) On those previous trips, I hadn’t yet heard of the Zika virus, Brazil showed promise of economic and political stability, and my suitcase was filled with bikinis, not long-sleeved shirts, and sunblock instead of bug spray. Much has changed since my first visit in 2010.

The DOB Returns for Rio!

For the past eight years and five Olympics, I’ve written a Daily Olympics Blog — a once-a-day personal journal about what it’s like to cover the Olympics. Like this blog itself, it’s been a way for me to share the stories behind the stories I write while I’m on the clock at ESPN.

Remembering Aug. 5, 1984

Thirty years ago, Joanie Benoit Samuelson won the first Olympic women’s marathon. She did so in a time–2:24:52–that would have won 13 of the previous 20 men’s marathons at the Olympics. Tuesday was the anniversary of her gold-medal performance, and I had the opportunity to emcee an event hosted by Nike honoring Joanie at the LA Coliseum.

Surprise, Surprise!

On the flight home from Russia, caught midway between my much-too-long-awaiting bed and the world I’d lived in for the past three weeks, I started to think about what I would miss most about covering the Olympics. I know. Miss? About covering the Olympics? It would have been easier to think of 10 things I miss most about being a teenager and return to watching the tiny movies playing in the headrest in front of me.

D21: Closing Time

The Closing Ceremony! It’s hard to believe the final day of the Olympics is here. I won’t say the past three weeks flew by, because they very much did not. And I am so glad to be flying home tomorrow — See you Tuesday, Storybookland! — but February has gone by as quickly as any month in the past year. I’ll leave here with some wonderful memories, many sad, discomforting thoughts about the future of these pop-up towns and the people who live in and near them and an interest in returning one day and actually visiting Russia.

D20: Birthday Bobsled

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It’s been a magical three weeks … but we are ready to go home!

When I woke up this morning, the first thing I did was open a card Brittany gave me on my way to the airport. “Do not open it until February 22,” she said. Oh, I wish I hadn’t listened to her! Because inside was a card with a cardboard unicorn – who talks, by the way! – for toting around Russia.

D19: The Countdown Begins

It. Is. Friday. Not Flashback Friday. Not Follow Friday. It’s going home in three days Friday!

In many ways, it’s been an incredible Olympics and easier than I expected. In many ways, it’s been an exhausting Olympics that has been about as much work packed into three weeks as I can remember in this gig.