Augie: A magnificent statue

GroupThe Augustana basketball teams are in Brazil this week and are blogging on the trip. Tayvian Johnson is blogging for the men’s team and you can catch their blog posts on the Daily Dose. Chaney Tambling is blogging for the women’s 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.

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 we 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. It must have excited our whole team because we bought about 10 of them and will be bringing them back to the states.

After we got back to the hotel it was 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 at half and down two with one and a half minutes to the best youth team in South America it was clear that our trip was a success from a basketball standpoint.

Although a few calls that didn’t go our way and some free throws ended up 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.