Student Immersion Experience

Immersed in Rio Part 2

By DeVry University

Hundreds of thousands of people descended on Brazil for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. There were athletes, coaches, personnel and spectators. There were also two students, Ue Lisa Cha and Demetrius Graham. The pair was participating in the DeVry University Team USA Student Immersion Experience, during which they gained on-the-ground, real-world experience working with USOC IT professionals. This is Part 2 of their experiences from their time at one of the largest sporting events in the world. 

Read Part 1 here

August 1

Ue Lisa Cha: Everything is starting to come together. It’s pretty amazing how much can be accomplished in only three days. We went around and made sure everything was up and running.

Also amazing was Demetrius getting an opportunity to show his skills. There was nobody around who knew how to make a Class A Ethernet head to insert into the database hub. Fortunately, Demetrius knew how! It worked perfect, and I was so happy for him. He really helped out the IT team big time.

Demetrius Graham: We made sure to get to work early this day, because once everything was wrapped up it was time so see more of the sights. Actually, the biggest sight, Christ the Redeemer.

The statue attracts people for so many reasons. Personally, the statue was a sight to see in itself, but what I remember most is the view while standing near it. It really gave me the best view of Rio. We were so much higher than we were on Sugarloaf Mountain, so we were able to see both Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, and much more. I’ll never forget that view.

August 2

Lisa: It was only a matter of time until something went wrong. Fortunately, it wasn’t a big thing.

We got to work to find the network power went off because there wasn’t enough electricity. It actually was a good thing, as we went around putting adaptors and adding a backup generator to every database hub to prevent the problem going forward.

Side note: Did I mention that the stairs at the USA House are a killer? Oh man, we were going up and down those stairs more than 10 times a day. It was exhausting. I better have lost some weight or gained some leg muscles from all that stair climbing.

Anyways, we completed adding the generators, but the WiFi wasn’t still working. We didn’t know what was wrong, The IT staff ended up calling a network specialist, who drove an hour and a half to help us figure out the problem.

After work, Demetrius and I decided we needed a taste of home. So where did we go? Of course, McDonald’s! I bought a Big Mac meal, but I have to be honest, it was not as good as it is in America. It still did the trick, though. Plus, I did buy a souvenir cup from McDonald’s to take home.

August 3

Lisa: Today may have been the best day yet!

The USA House hosted an open house. Everything looked so beautiful, and it was so exciting seeing everything finished. That said, the IT staff at USA House kept us on our feet today, making cable cords, and finding the assigned ports in the database hubs and connecting them to the switchboards.

We also went shopping at the USA Store, which is located at the bottom floor of the USA House. Actually, we went looking, as we didn’t end up buying anything. It was worth walking around the store, though. It was incredible.

Demetrius: Amongst all the televisions buzzing, food and drinks being served, and merchandise being purchased, Lisa and I got quite the surprise as we’d been invited to join the IT team for dinner after work.

Traffic was horrible, BUT I didn’t mind because I wasn’t driving and we got to see some amazing sights, such as Tokyo, Japan house, the favelas that light up at night, and a whole different neighborhood of Rio.

Then we get to the place … it’s a Brazilian buffet! There are two things I love: Eating and being told I can eat however much I want. That was the second time eating Brazilian buffet for me that week, and they definitely will not be my last.

Lisa: Sometimes it’s the little things, and the buffet had one of those things: hot sauce!

I’d been on the search for hot sauce for days, as I love spicy food. Did you know they don’t do spice in Rio? Every time I ask for something spicy, they whip up a sauce that always has some kind of oil and it always ends up being sweet. I missed sauces back home so much.

Hanging out with the crew was great and fun. They are a bunch of jokers. They’re very comfortable with each other because they’ve known each other for a very long time. After dinner, we went to Lonier, which is another site where the IT team was setting up connectivity, before calling it a night.

Check back for Part 3 of Lisa and Demetrius' time in Rio with Team USA!