THURSDAY, AUG. 4, 2:30 a.m.
I won’t lie. Today (yesterday?) was nuts. (And essentially only Day 1!) It started out so calmly, with the potential to be one of those “transition” days where you ease your way into covering a big event. I was penned in to write off the IOC meetings this evening after the Executive Committee voted whether or not to include five additional sports to the Tokyo 2020 program and then do a couple TV hits with my favorite cohort, Julie Foudy, after the women’s soccer match around 9 pm. Until then, I would learn the lay of the land and clean out my inbox. Cake.
Then I walked into the day woefully unready for chaos. (I think I’ve been living at the beach for too long.) I did my first SportsCenter hit of the Games, via Skype from the Main Press Center in Barra da Tijuca, less than an hour after landing at the MPC. Thank you, Cari Champion, for having me on last minute and for being generally awesome even though I couldn’t see you and for a period of downed Internet connection, hear you.
(And why, oh why, didn’t I have the foresight to bring a makeup bag with me today!? Lesson learned. For the rest of the Games, I will make like a Boy Scout and Always Be Prepared. Or is it Always Bring Makeup? One of those is definitely their motto.)
Then, I took one of our ESPN vans and headed (okay, was driven) “20 minutes away” to the hotel in Barra where the IOC meetings were taking place. An hour later, I arrived. The meetings ended at 6:30 and I barely made it back to the media center in time to film this hit with Foudy talking about the “new” Olympic sports at 9:30 pm, while frantically making calls, sending texts, forgetting to eat and writing this column about the addition of skateboarding, surfing, climbing, karate, softball and baseball to the 2020 Games from the back of said Sprinter van.
So far, when people ask me what I’ve experienced in Rio, I don’t have much of an answer. I’ve sat in traffic, meetings and press conferences, stood in lines and felt the general panic of feeling constantly beauty challenged, behind schedule and wishing I spoke Portuguese.
Fortunately, tonight our ESPN Deportes makeup artist offered to doll me up for TV. I believe her actual words, as she tapped me on the shoulder, were, “I fix your face?”
With that, I melted into her chair, conceded to the application of something called 24-hour lipstick and realized tomorrow is another day.