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    The winner of the promotion campaign shared his experience on the trip to Rio


    “Such chance is given once in a lifetime!” - the winner of the promotion campaign organized by Visa jointly with JSC Belagroprombank1 shares his impressions of his trip to the Summer Olympic games 2016.1

    - I regularly make purchases using Belagroprombank’s Visa card, and when I saw the news about the promotion campaign I decided to participate in the draw, - says the resident of Brest region, Malorita town, Vitali Korotynsky.Who could think that the fortune would choose me, out of 27 thousand persons!

    In the background - sports facilities in Rio-de-Janeiro

    Vitaly, a father of three, set out on his first-ever trip with his wife Anastassia:

    - My wife was on the 8th months of pregnancy and, as we heard news on TV about Zika virus outbreaks, we had doubts about whether both of us should go. Nevertheless, we were told that mosquitoes – the carriers of the disease– were only active in summer. Whereas August is a winter month in Brazil, we did not see a single insect there.

    The Korotynskih family got a tourist package “The second wave” which included 5-days (August 7-11) accommodation at a 5-star hotel in Rio. The program included the return tickets Minsk-Rio (with a stop-over in Frankfurt-on-Maine), transfer to/fr om Windsor Atlantica hotel, breakfast in the hotel, the tickets for the selected Olympic competitions, a sightseeing tour in Rio, souvenirs from Visa (beach bag and earphones Sol Republik) and a Visa card with a 400$ balance. The prize pool totalled 47 499, 9191 (474 999 191 rubles before redenomination) or 24 484$.

    - The 50-storey building of a 5-star hotel Windsor Atlantica is rightfully considered the best place to stay across the entire Copacabana coast. We lived on the 23rd floor and every morning enjoyed the view over the Guabanara bay. People come here to go for a walk along the coastline, to bike or jog.

    A view over the Guanabara Bay from the hotel’s room

    Discoveries. Banking technologies in practice.

    - Upon arrival to Rio-de-Janeiro, Visa employees gave a wristband to me and my wife, the companion Visa card and Visa Bluetooth card.

    The wristband supports NFC technology which allows not only to pay for purchases, but also to track a person’s movements for safety reasons.

    - I intentionally inquired about whether this technology is supported in our country. Unfortunately, we do not have such possibility yet. In reality, this technology is very convenient: you just put on a chip-embedded wristband, and, when necessary, tap it against a payment terminal and pay for goods or services. It’s awesome!

    The Visa companion card is synchronized with the wristband and can be used in places wh ere the NFC contactless technology is not supported.

    - In fact we paid using only wristbands. Rio is a world famous tourist city and such technologies became a common thing a long time ago.

    Visa Bluetooth card also helped the organizers of the Olympics track the movements of guests to ensure their safety.

    - We had a very eventful program – every day we visited several sports competitions. In order to stay updated about the Olympic events we used a Visa mobile application which we had downloaded before our trip to Brazil. The app helped us keep up to date with the sports competitions, create our own photo gallery and, of course, track the balance on our card. And, most important, the app worked even offline, without internet connection!


    Every morning we went down to the hotel’s hall, and the Visa representative gave us tickets for sports competitions. In 5 days we managed to attend a beach volleyball game, a basketball game, a rugby game and a tennis match. I had never attended any games of the similar level before – it was really interesting to feel the atmosphere of the Olympics. The spectators cheered so enthusiastically that the fans even got into a fight during the tennis match.

    Before the rugby game

    Besides, for people who bought tickets independently the prices were affordable: 60 reals (20$) for a rugby game, 110 reals (36,6$) for a volleyball game.


    I did not get any autograph from foreign sportsmen; however, I had a photo taken with Belarusian weightlifters as we were on the same flight. We were also on the same plane with Vladislav Goncharov – an Olympic champion in trampolining. If I knew then that he would win a medal, I would definitely have taken a photo with him.

    Vitaly with the Belarusian team of weightlifters


    We got to the base of the statue of Christ the Redeemer on the Mount Corcovado and visited the world-famous Sugarloaf Mountain that got its name due to its unusual shape - it resembles the shape of a sugarloaf. You can also find a three-stage cable car system here. At the last stage you get to the top of the mountain as high as 396 meters. It was an unforgettable experience!

    At the base of the State of Christ the Redeemer on the Mount Corcovado

    Copacabana beach deserves a special mention: it was a real pleasure to walk barefoot on pure yellow sand without a single pebble or shell. It is called one of the best beaches in the world for a reason. My dream to swim in the ocean came true! This was definitely a trip of a lifetime that I will remember.

    We could not miss the notorious favelas, however we did not dare to stop there and just drove through. We did not want to get robbed or get into serious trouble.


    The Brazilians are generally known as friendly, smiling people who are always ready to help strangers, and it turned out to be true. They have a special attitude towards pregnant women. When I and my wife stood into a queue line, we were immediately let jump the queue – Brazilians cared about us as if we were their family members. You can even have a photo taken with policemen here!

    With a policeman in Rio-de-Janeiro

    Besides, contrary to the established opinion, we did not meet any bandits in the streets. We felt safe and went for walks at night.


    We spent on food 400$ given together with the Visa card. It should be taken into account that prices in Rio are quite high. For example, a loaf of bread costs 3$, a glass of beer – 13 reals (4,3$). One day we entered a small café, with a furnace in the middle and a cook cooking meat in front of guests. One serving per person cost us 70 reals (23,3$).

    It came as a surprise to me that the Brazilian cuisine is meat-based. The most popular dishes are different kinds of steaks with legume garnish dressed with sauces. Very delicious. There was not enough bread for us though as local residents of Rio rarely eat bread.

    The famous Brazilian coffee is always natural, and instant coffee is hardly found here. I am not a gourmet and I cannot evaluate the flavour of the local coffee, however lovers of this strong drink would appreciate its unusual taste.

    Needless to say, we did not stay indifferent when we tasted local fruits, they are sweet and juicy. Coconuts are sold at every turn there, you just put a straw into it and drink milk through it. Ouro banana (the lady-Finger banana) was the only fruit that we did not like as it had the chewy consistency. Besides, Brazilians never export their bananas and use them only within their country. It is interesting that bananas-da-terra are fried and served as a side to garnish.


    Leaving Rio without souvenirs would have been wrong. However, we had to be careful with the spending. Near the sports facilities a football shirt cost 140 reals (46,6$), while further from a tourist area the same shirt could be bought for 30 reals (10$). I brought coffee to my relatives, and whistles and soft pillows in the form of smiles to my children and nephews. Of course, we did not forget to buy magnets and a real football ball.

    We will remember this trip for a lifetime!

    Photos by Vitaly Korotynsky

    1Registration certificate No.2735 issued by the Ministry of Trade of the Republic of Belarus dd. 12.04.2016. The prize draw was open to Belagroprombank’s clients who in the period April 18 through May 31 made payments with Visa cards to the amount starting at BYN 500 (of the 2009 series).

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