From June 13 through June 16, Rio De Janeiro hosted the ITTF Pro Tour event for the South American continent. The tournament was held on 4 tables! Coming from the US this is an amazing accomplishment. Colin Clemett the ITTF Rules Chairman was in attendance and gave excellent instruction to all of the umpires. The housing was selected primarily for its location. The hotel was one block off of the famous Copacobana Beach 1, 2, 3, . From our room you could see Corcovado (the statue that dominates Rio). We made a special trip to the top of the mountain to view the city. The rain forest was very impressive.
While the food was not Ruth's Chris, it was quite nutritious and after the distinctly Asian flavor I was eating in Japan, it was nice to get plenty of western style food. The most unusual aspect of the tournament turned out to be the delays in matches do to butterflies! The gym in which the event was held was located on the 6th floor (a good healthy climb) and had open air access to reduce the heat. Although it was Winter in Rio, the temperatures still reached into the 90s F. There was an excellent view just outside the door of the site. I want to thank Gilza who works with the Confederation Brazil Tennis De Mesa for helping me stay in contact with home through email. Although I have no pictures of the show, I want to thank the President of the Confederation for a fantastic evening in RIO.
My co-umpire from the US was Azmy Ibrahim. We made many friends and thanks to Sonia Regina Mur\ga Helt, were able to play at the local club. I want to express my appreciation to the ITTF for creating the Pro Tour. I believe, as they hope in Brazil, that it will be the fore runner of the grand slam events similar to those now famous in tennis.