SPORT

Rio's Olympic Beach Volleyball Stadium On Copacabana Beach Is Wow

It's the hottest spot south of Havana.

20/07/2016 10:46 AM AEST | Updated 20/07/2016 12:20 PM AEST
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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 04: Work continues at the Beach Volleyball Arena on Copacabana Beach in preparation for the 2016 Olympic Games on July 4, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Brazil is about to host the greatest beach party on earth on Copacabana Beach. Taking a leaf out of the Sydney 2000 playbook, Rio 2016 Olympics organisers have constructed this beautiful beast of a thing on the sands of Copacabana Beach.

You really need a soundtrack while you're reading this. Press play and we'll see you in the next paragraph.

There. That's better. At the Copa...

OK, so here's a reminder of what the Sydney 2000 beach volleyball stadium on Bondi Beach looked like. Oi! Oi! Oi!

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Residents of Bondi were opposed to this because it cast shade on their cafe lattes.

The Brazilians have pinched this genius 100 percent Aussie idea, and we salute them for it.

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Music and passion will definitely be in fashion.

Here's another view of the venue-in-progress.

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Nice spot for a Caipirinha.

And another, this time from close up.

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They've made a huge sand barrier in the event of huge waves.

Volleyball of both the beach and indoor variety is the second most popular sport in Brazil after football. As you'd expect, Brazil is good at it.

Brazilian teams have won won the most medals (11) of any nation since beach volleyball sport was introduced to the Olympic program in 1996. But most of those have been minor medals. Brazil has won just two golds to the USA's six. They'll be hungry to be the toast of their own beach party in Rio.

Australia has won just two beach volleyball Olympic medals (including Nat Cook and Kerri Pottharst's famous gold in Sydney) and will do their best to spoil the samba with two women's teams selected.

Sergio Moraes / Reuters
Good times.

The Huffington Post Australia spoke to Lousie Bawden a little this year, and she told us that the sands of Copacabana are very Australian in their texture. That'll actually provide an advantage. Beach volleyballers play on all sorts of surfaces around the world from shelly grit to fine powdery sand. Copacabana is baby bear's porridge: it's just right. So here's hoping.

Whatever happens on the volleyball court, the real winner will be the venue and anyone lucky enough to grab a seat at the party. The party will go late too. While the preliminary rounds are played at all hours, the finals on August 17 and 18 will be held at midnight local time.

Sergio Moraes / Reuters
Coco verde means "green coconut", which sounds like a delicious accompaniment to an evening of beach volleyball.

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