While the Rio Olympic course appeared to make an impressive debut, the coverage from Golf Channel also marked a bit of a breakthrough for Rio. So far, Brazil has not exactly exuded joy at the inclusion of golf and venue-wise, they've underestimated just how much of an impact their Gil Hanse-designed course will have.
But after the course opening to rave reviews--with only the Associated Press filing a predictably negative story--the bigger success story is Brazil's apparent burgeoning pride in what could be one of the 2016 Olympics' iconic venues. This Rio2016 website story captured some of the pride as did this Olympic.org story.
Laura McQuillan for Stuff.co.nz noted the obvious environmental impact element to the Olympic course story, a nice contrast to much of the reporting suggesting it was nothing short of a toxic waste dump.
On Wednesday, the organisers told media they'd done their best to protect the local flora and fauna, including endangered and rare species of birds, butterflies, capybaras, and a native species of crocodile-like lizards called jacaré. If journalists encountered any of the animals, they were advised to stay calm and advise the organisers. "This is their house, we are their guests," a spokeswoman said.
As the golfers teed off, they were watched by a rare burrowing owl that perched on the edge of a bunker, as dozens of other native birds held a rally of their own on the fairway. There was no trace of larger animals, aside from scattered piles of dung in the rough areas.
Rio 2016 president Carlos Nuzman defended the process that organisers followed in creating the course.
"Look, every time you have different ways for the venues in all of the cities in all of the world. The most important thing is the end of the movie, and the end, we need to applaud," he said.