The weekend is almost upon us, and Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana beach is starting to fill up with tourists, cyclists, volleyball players and bon vivants in general. In front of Miguel Lemos Street, though, there’s a cluster of people toiling away.
Bira’s one of them. He’s a sculptor of sand castles and oversized backsides on the beach in front of the promenade. He’s the one to whom I inquire about the sand sculpture of Rodolfo Vieira, the Jiu-Jitsu champion.
Rodolfo’s over on the right side of the TV Globo kiosk, he tells me. Or at least part of Rodolfo.
“I’ve done one of Anderson Silva before, y’know?” Bira says, before I bid farewell. “It was the spitting image of him. I even used some products to make him black and everything.”
So I meet up with the younger Rogean Rodrigues, holding a spoon in hand. At this moment he’s putting the finishing touches on Rodolfo’s right fist and looking at the original photo by John Cooper.
At the Copa Pódio promotion’s behest, to promote the Heavyweight GP coming up in January, Rodolfo Vieira will stick around for the curious stares of thousands of beachgoers to see.
“The statue will be ready in two or three days. I figure I’ll be done by Sunday, all the way to his feet. The hard part was his face, not to mention the fighter ears,” quipped Rogean, a master sculptor who uses only sand, water and bonder in producing his art.
Rogean usually leaves his artwork on display for the promenade’s visitors to see for up to three months. By then, Rodolfo will surely have dropped by to give the artist a hearty hug.
Check out the event card as it stands:
Copa Pódio 2013
January 12, 2013
Pódio Super Challenge:
Guto Campos vs Wancler Oliveira (Guto Campos defends his title for a third time)
Couple’s Double Match:
Augusto Tanquinho vs Davi Ramos
Mackenzie Dern vs Marina Ribeiro
Diego Borges (Manaus) vs Murilo Santana (São Paulo)
Leandro Lo vs Felipe Preguiça
Alexandre Souza (Gracie Floripa/Florianópolis)
Alexandro Ceconi (Ceconi Team/Criciúma)
Antonio Braga Neto (Gordo JJ/Porto Velho)
Bruno Bastos (Nova União/USA)
Caio Monstro (Nova União/Fortaleza)
João Gabriel Rocha (Soul Fighters/Rio de Janeiro)
Léo Nogueira (Alliance/São Paulo)
Rodolfo Vieira (GFTeam/Rio de Janeiro)
Xande Ribeiro (Ribeiro JJ)