But the stands, which had been filled a couple of hours before, were half-full — or half-empty.
The Beach Volleyball Arena kept its promise as the place to be, and be seen, for the first 13 days of the Olympics.
The stadium is nudged just a bit off-center of the intersection to accommodate a stand of palm trees.
The berms seemed like a brilliant idea days before the Olympics when high tides and some of the biggest waves in years hit Copacabana and washed across Avenida Atlântica.
The mellow start of the first match soon ignited into full-throttle energy for Alison (who is known by his first name, like some other familiar Brazilians) and Schmidt (the nephew of the former basketball star Oscar Schmidt).