Postcard from Rio: Sandcastles not just day at the beach

John Niyo
The Detroit News

According to my 5-year-old daughter, I make a pretty good sandcastle.

Sand sculptor Rogean Rodrigues puts the finishing touches on the Olympic Rings — near an elaborate castle on Copacabana beach.

But after witnessing some of the sand art decorating the beaches in Rio, from Pepe Beach near my hotel to Copacabana Beach — and it goes well beyond your basic castles and moats — I realize I’m no Olympic-caliber architect.

Not even close.

Everyone knows about the sand here. And unlike Beijing or London, or even Athens, they did not have to ship any in to meet the finicky standards — who knew? — of beach volleyball competitors and officials for these Olympics.

But somehow these artists have managed to turn that same ultra-fine sand into elaborate, life-size sculptures that become tourist attractions. Some of them take 10-12 hours — or more — to build.

And unlike the ones I make, they’re impressive enough — in design and dramatic effect — that they remain standing for days.