RIO de JANEIRO — What a tropical scene there was Monday noon time here at the 2016 Olympic Games. At Copacabana, for instance, the smell of coconut milk mixed with hot-out-of-the-oil-fries, the background to a visual tableau featuring the dental flossiest of bikinis and the waves lapping gently on the sugary sand.
Then, as the knowing Brazilians called it, the sudoeste blew in, a cold wind — from, well, the southeast — bearing the mean grey line of clouds signaling a major frente fria, a cold front with maybe days of rain. This is the Southern Hemisphere winter tropical version of what Americans on the East Coast would know as a nor’easter.
At Olympic Park, seven people, including two children, were injured when an overhead television camera tied to overhead cables crashed to the ground.
At Olympic Stadium, the wind — estimated by officials at between 60 and 90 kilometers per hour, 37 to 55 mph — toppled railings, tore at banners and more. About 50 minutes before the fourth night of the Rio 2016 track and field program got underway, the rain started coming down in sheets, straight down, then sideways. The men’s pole vault and women’s discus competitions: thanks but another day.
For those who believe in portents: all of this was maybe a sign of the storm clouds on the horizon for the American star Allyson Felix in the last race of the night, the women’s 400.
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