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Rio, City of Sport

Street football is a big part of the city’s culture, played out on favela hills with amazing backdrops. Reached via a very steep ascent, Cantagalo is high above Ipanema Beach and its adjacent hotels

In Rio de Janeiro sport is everywhere: from football in the favelas to surfing, diving and volleyball on the beach. It’s a big part of life and culture in the Olympic host city – beautiful weather year-round means a big outdoors lifestyle. Life in Rio can be hard, particularly for those living in favelas; for children growing up there, sport is often an escape from their surroundings. Here, life is lived out on the busy streets. I visited the city six or seven times, shooting over quite a few months in several favelas, and at beaches like Ipanema and Copacabana. It’s a fascinating place, and looks spectacular – one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with some of the warmest people. Though the favelas can be dangerous, I worked with a local fixer and translator and was made very welcome. Not many people get to see this part of the world, let alone everyday life here, so it was a real privilege.

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Lonely Planet - September 2016
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