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Viking men find moving monument, fall to top Brazilian team

Today was a day of breath-taking events. After an early rise we went to see one of the most photographed statues in the world, Monumento do Cristo Redentor, or the Christ Statue. After a long wait in line and a card scan, we were traveling up Corcovado mountain.

tayvian johnson
Sophomore Tayvian Johnson

To get up the mountain, we took a train and out of both sides of the window there were small glimpses of what would be one of the most amazing views we could ever ask for. When the train ride was over, we had reached the monument and neither pictures nor the view from ground level do this amazing piece of art work justice. This was one of the most amazing things I’ve seen, standing 98 feet tall and a wingspan of 92 feet it was breath-taking to say the least. You could see everyone on our team light up as we finally reached the top of the stairs and looked up.

Along with the breath-taking view of the city of Rio de Janiero, the statue lit up faces from people of all nationalities and ages. It is a true spectacle when you can cross language barriers and see true enjoyment on people’s faces. Underneath the statue, there was a chapel where I found teammates Brandon Motzel and Ben Ryan. Ben was putting in an offering and Brandon was praying.

Seeing that made me stop and realize how fortunate I was to be on this trip with such great people. I sat down said my prayer, took a few more pictures then we all started our trip back down the mountain. While waiting for our bus we saw two men playing a game that looked like a cross between badminton and handball. They were hitting a small ball with a tail in front of us and surprisingly hit it to me with no warning. I returned it to the men and one of the men started playing the game with me. It must have excited our whole team because we bought about 10 of the balls and will be bringing them back to the states.

After we got back to the hotel, there were more giant waves on the beach. After we washed off and started gearing up for what would be the hardest game of the trip. We played C.R. Flamengo. Coach Giovanine had been telling us we need toughness to compete and we found that tonight. After being down four points at half and down two with 1-and-a-half minutes to the best youth team in South America, it was clear that our trip was a success from a basketball stand point.

Although a few calls that didn’t go our way and some missed free throws ended in a loss, it was still a great game to play in and be a part of. Today might have been my favorite day and I know everyone on the trip had a blast.

One Response to “Viking men find moving monument, fall to top Brazilian team”

  1. The game you describe is called peteca!!! And it can be quite a workout.

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