Rio is my fifth Olympic games and I am covering everything but the sports so it’s really giving me a different perspective on the Olympics. I’m seeing it from outside the comforts of the Olympic world and instead from the peoples’ view, which is really great.

This was the very first picture I shot when I arrived in Rio taken from the balcony where I’m staying. In the afternoon a storm rolled over at sunset just when Christ the Redeemer was being lit up. I shot using a 400m lens with the favela in the foreground and thought it was a great scene setter for the next couple of weeks.

 

I love this picture. It was late at night when the Olympic torch relay came through Copacabana and I was running alongside trying to photograph people watching it. It was kind of chaotic with people yelling and running through the street. The atmosphere was crazy. Just for this moment, things slowed down and the look of wonder on the young child’s face just made it for me.

 

With so much talk ahead and during the games about the security issues, this picture of the soldiers taking a moment to photograph the Olympic torch as it went by summed up to me how people get caught up in the Olympic spirit. 

 

I was working around the beach volleyball arena looking for crowds and interesting things when I came across this guy entertaining everyone with his football tricks. It’s a simple picture, but this guy was awesome.

 

Julia Muniz from the Cantagalo ‘favela’ community reacts after being given a surprise ticket to the Olympic Rugby 7’s. A small group of children were surprised with tickets to the Olympics after staff and volunteers from their English language school, the Caminhos Language Centre, arranged to buy tickets for them. The kids were given Olympic merchandise bags, a trip to McDonalds and tickets to a session at the Olympic Rugby 7’s event. Generally, tickets to the Olympics are out of reach for many Brazilians– families from underprivileged areas such as favelas have very little opportunity to see the Olympics live.

 

With so much of the media focus always on the world records and gold medal stories, I look forward to telling a smaller story that is not so often covered during such a big event. Experiencing the kids excitement and joy is so rewarding and something I want to try to capture in my photographs. Julia Cristina Fretas Rocha, pictured here, leaves her house in the Cantagalo ‘favela’ community to meet friends ahead of attending the Olympic Rugby 7’s.

 

I was curious to see if Usain Bolt running the 100m final was a big deal for the local community in Rio so I thought I would stop by a favela to see if people were watching. I found that most people had to work the next day and it wasn’t such a big deal outside of their daily life, despite the Olympics being shown on most TV screens from bars to grocery stores in the neighborhood.

 

I started noticing that most shops, restaurants and bars were tuning their TV’s to the Olympics and people generally would stop by and watch for a few minutes and then continue on–unless it was a Brazilian team or athlete then you would see more people gather around. It was interesting to see people in the local communities outside the Olympic sphere going about their daily routine despite a global event being staged in their city.

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