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Outside the beach volleyball venue Saturday, Brazilians and tourists danced on the boardwalk, munched on grilled shrimp, scanned racks of cheap jewelry and played futvolei — soccer on a volleyball court.If you want to feel alive, you come to Copacabana...

Enjoy baseball at Wrigley Field? Then you'll dig volleyball at Copacabana

Outside the beach volleyball venue Saturday, Brazilians and tourists danced on the boardwalk, munched on grilled shrimp, scanned racks of cheap jewelry and played futvolei — soccer on a volleyball court.If you want to feel alive, you come to Copacabana...

 Enjoy baseball at Wrigley Field? Then you'll dig volleyball at Copacabana

Outside the beach volleyball venue Saturday, Brazilians and tourists danced on the boardwalk, munched on grilled shrimp, scanned racks of cheap jewelry and played futvolei — soccer on a volleyball court.

If you want to feel alive, you come to Copacabana Beach on a glistening, 85-degree day.

And if you want to feel good about the Olympics and fall in love with a new sport, you go to a venue that is brand new and yet one that Brazilian volleyball star Barbara called: "So traditional, so classic."

It's right on the beach, with views of the Atlantic Ocean.

This is baseball at Wrigley, football at Lambeau, college hoops at Indoor Cameron or Allen Fieldhouse.

But there's a modern touch in this game — a DJ mixing music and an announcer named Luke Van Valin firing up the crowd between points.

"Hey … ho … hey … ho," the spectators hollered, following Naughty By Nature's "Hip Hip Hooray."

American Casey Patterson, who teamed with Jake Gibb on Saturday to take out a team from Qatar, hollered into a mic after his match: "What's up, everybody? Thanks for coming out! You guys are amazing! We love Brazil!"

The Tribune's Brian Cassella takes you around Rio and the 2016 Olympics. For more RioGrams, visit his Instagram page.

Patterson is a 36-year-old father of three who probably still gets carded thanks to his Mohawk. A veteran of international play nicknamed "Mr. Boom" and the "6-6" Ninja," he knows the importance of catering to the crowd when he plays in Brazil. Which is part of why he danced during his team's 21-16, 21-16 victory.

"I'm trying to win them over," he said, "trying to be the hotter girl on the dance floor.

"I want them to enjoy themselves. We're playing for medals and for pride for our country but at the same time, there's a reason beach volleyball is so popular here. They love it, and if you show them how much you love it, then it's a great relationship."

Brazilian volleyball fans are passionate and knowledgeable, straddling the line between supportive and, well, mean. Czech competitor Marketa Slukova took offense to the crowd's jeering during her match with teammate Barbora Hermannova against Brazil's Barbara and Agatha.

"I've played for 10 years and I've never, ever experienced that," Slukova said. "You call it … patriotism? I think this was nothing personally against us. I think they just don't know the borderline between what is appropriate at the moment and what is not. They want so much to help their team, they don't really realize that we are also human beings."

The crowd went ballistic after a point that featured two diving digs by Barbara and a soft-tap finish by Agatha. The two embraced as chants of "BRA-SIL! BRA-SIL!" rained down from the steep grandstand.

With backdrop of worry, Rio opens Games with party of joy, hope, warning Teddy Greenstein

People can question the cleanliness of Rio's waterways, its infrastructure, its commitment to help the poor and the danger of its mosquito population.

No one will ever deny Rio de Janeiro's determination and ability to party. That free-wheeling, joyous vibe was on full display Friday night during...

People can question the cleanliness of Rio's waterways, its infrastructure, its commitment to help the poor and the danger of its mosquito population.

No one will ever deny Rio de Janeiro's determination and ability to party. That free-wheeling, joyous vibe was on full display Friday night during...

(Teddy Greenstein)

There is an etiquette to this sport, though, evidenced when Barbara spiked a ball that that smacked Slukova's shoulder. Barbara raised her hand, as tennis players do after winning a point because of a let.

The heavily favored Brazilians needed three sets to win: 19-21, 21-17, 15-11.

"If they were bothered by the boos, I didn't realize because they played very well," Barbara said. "I think the crowd did not want to offend them. Maybe they don't know the exact way to do that sometimes, but I believe they are just trying to support the home team."

Women's beach volleyball also features a noticeable flip from Blackhawks games at the United Center, which feature the smooth-skating Ice Crew doubling as eye candy. Here, men come out to sweep the court while the women get a breather.

Barbara raved about the venue, making for a perfect start to the 2016 Rio Games.

"Nothing compares to playing at home," she said. "This energy."

And hosting the Games, she hopes, will unify Brazil and expose young athletes to a range of sports.

"Brazil is so big," she said. "This is hope for those who want to be great athletes someday."

[email protected]

Twitter @TeddyGreenstein

Caption Recapping the Opening Ceremony from Rio de Janeiro

Tribune reporter Stacy St. Clair recaps a colorful Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games from Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro with photos by Tribune photojournalist Brian Cassella.

Tribune reporter Stacy St. Clair recaps a colorful Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games from Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro with photos by Tribune photojournalist Brian Cassella.

Caption Recapping the Opening Ceremony from Rio de Janeiro

Tribune reporter Stacy St. Clair recaps a colorful Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games from Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro with photos by Tribune photojournalist Brian Cassella.

Tribune reporter Stacy St. Clair recaps a colorful Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games from Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro with photos by Tribune photojournalist Brian Cassella.

Caption Olympics on TV: What to watch on Saturday

Olympics on TV: What to watch on Saturday, Aug. 6. (Tim Bannon/Chicago Tribune)

Olympics on TV: What to watch on Saturday, Aug. 6. (Tim Bannon/Chicago Tribune)

Caption Sneak peek at the Maracana Stadium ahead of Olympics opening ceremony

A sneak peek at the Maracana Stadium ahead of Olympics opening ceremony on Friday, Aug. 5, 2016. (Stacy St. Clair/Chicago Tribune)

A sneak peek at the Maracana Stadium ahead of Olympics opening ceremony on Friday, Aug. 5, 2016. (Stacy St. Clair/Chicago Tribune)

Caption Rio's largest favela Rocinha, where there's little room for sports

As the 2016 Summer Olympics begin, a look inside Rio de Janeiro's largest favela Rocinha where there are few safe places for children to play despite billions spent on sports facilities across the city. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)

As the 2016 Summer Olympics begin, a look inside Rio de Janeiro's largest favela Rocinha where there are few safe places for children to play despite billions spent on sports facilities across the city. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)

Caption Stuck in Rio traffic? Here's some candy

An introduction to how people try to sell you stuff in your car in Rio de Janeiro. (Chris Hine/Chicago Tribune)

An introduction to how people try to sell you stuff in your car in Rio de Janeiro. (Chris Hine/Chicago Tribune)

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