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RIO DE JANEIRO -- Rafaela Silva hoped to get an Olympic gold medal four years ago in London. Instead she got racial abuse.Disqualified in her Olympic judo match and eliminated from the chance of winning a medal, Brazils Silva thought shed find refuge in sympathetic text messages from fans in her country.Instead, heres what she found: The place for a monkey is in a cage. You are not an Olympian.The messages said I was an embarrassment to my family, so they really hurt, said Silva, who won gold in the world championships a year after London, and is among the favorites for gold when the Rio de Janeiro Olympics open in just over a week.Silva is one of many athletes familiar with the sting of racism in a country where most of the poor are brown and black. Though a nation of rich diversity -- 51 percent identify as non-white, brown, black or mixed race -- racism still runs deep.On the one hand, Brazil is thoroughly mixed. On the other, there is searing racial inequality in a place often portrayed as a racial democracy, or race-blind. The myth of a race-blind country has been losing force, but theres still a yawning gap between black and white.Behind the apparent peaceful melting pot theres a lot of tension and not much open talk about race, Marta Arretche, a political scientist who studies inequality at the University of Sao Paulo, told The Associated Press.Diversity and inequality will line up side-by-side at the Olympics, just as they did at Brazils World Cup two years ago. Visitors will see the countrys racial politics play out in ways that are subtle, yet clear.Magazine covers seldom feature a black face. The very popular soap operas feature mostly white actors, although black actors are now getting roles other than drivers, cooks or doormen. Upscale restaurants and suburban shopping malls are almost all white. Waiters in top restaurants are seldom black. And the only black faces at the airport are the hired help, or black women caring for white children in the airline lounges.All shades sunbathe on most Rios beaches, though Ipanema and Leblon tend to be more white. Vendors selling trinkets and drinks on all beaches are usually black.It will also be apparent in the crowds at venues, an issue that began with the World Cup two years ago. White fans bought the pricey tickets, and the black and brown were priced out.Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes promised during the World Cup that the Olympics would be different, pledging to supply 1.2 million free tickets to schools and the poor. In the end, he came up with 47,000 Olympics tickets -- 4 percent of his promise.The cheapest Olympic tickets cost 40 Brazilian reals ($12), though the average price is 100-200 ($30-$60). The top ticket for the opening ceremony is listed on the official website at 4,600 ($1,400). By comparison, the government-mandated monthly minimum wage is 880 reals (about $270).Blacks earn about half of what whites do, and among the wealthier the gap jumps to 2.5 times less.The root of the problem starts with slavery.Brazil imported about 5 million African slaves -- about 10 times more than the United States. Slavery ended in 1888, which was 25 years after the United States. Brazil was overwhelmingly black at the time, which triggered a government policy to whiten the country with poor European immigrants, Japanese and others to replace slave labor.Its difficult to define whos black. Most Brazilians self-identify, which means that two people of similar skin colors may identify differently -- one as white and one as black.In a case at the University of Brasilia, identical twins applied for admission under an affirmative-action program. Only one was judged to be black.The Brazilian government in a household survey in 1976 asked people to describe their color. It came up with 136 descriptions from morena (brown), to canela (cinnamon), to trigo (wheat) and 133 other shades, an exhaustive list explained by Brazilian anthropologist Lilia Moritz Schwarcz .Barcelona soccer star Neymar has been the subject of many reports about his skin color. A mix-raced Brazilian, photos show his skin tone has lightened since hes become world-famous and a marketing success. He frequently appears in TV ads for dandruff shampoo, foot cream and electronic products.The bias against being black shows up almost everywhere, Arretche said.Brazils 400 Olympic athletes represent all colors and shades, easy to see in photos on the website of the Brazilian Olympic Committee . The same website carries a group photo of the BOCs administration standing in front of the headquarters: the members are almost all white headed by IOC member Carlos Nuzman.The same is true for the local Olympic organizing committee, which Nuzman also leads -- virtually all white from CEO Sidney Levy on down.Michel Temer, the acting president of Brazil, has only white men in his cabinet -- no women and no blacks. Temer has the honor of declaring the Olympics open at the opening ceremony on Aug. 5.There was a strong silence in Brazil about race, a taboo, said Marcia Lima, who studies the subject at the University of Sao Paulo. That was the most powerful way for the white elite to control black people; that nobody talked about race. We dont have a race problem here would be the response, so we didnt need to talk about it.Mortiz Schwarcz cites a Brazilian study in which 97 percent said they were not prejudiced, but 98 percent said they knew people who were.Its not so open, not institutional as it was in the south in the United States, Arretche said. The racism is much more disguised.---Stephen Wade on Twitter: http://twitter.com/StephenWadeAP .His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/stephen-wade [url=http://www.nfljerseyscheapfromchina.cc/]cheap jerseys[/url] . The Americans, skipped by John Shuster, seized the advantage in the eighth end by scoring five points for a 7-3 lead. The Czechs pulled two back in the ninth, but Shusters team of third Jeff Isaacson, second Jared Zezel and lead John Landsteiner ended with another point to secure the last Olympic berth on offer. [url=http://www.nfljerseyscheapfromchina.cc/]cheap nfl jerseys[/url] . Ronaldo produced a spectacular individual performance on Tuesday, scoring all three goals and guiding Portugal into the next years World Cup in Brazil with a 3-2 victory in Sweden. The Real Madrid forward has scored 66 goals in 2013, but the last three may be the boost he needs to upstage Messi after FIFA unexpectedly extended the voting period for the Ballon dOr to Nov. [url=http://www.nfljerseyscheapfromchina.cc/]http://www.nfljerseyscheapfromchina.cc/[/url] . -- Canadian Andrew Wiggins got the ball on the wing, made a nifty spin move and then let go with a soft floater from about 10 feet that swished through the net in Allen Fieldhouse. [url=http://www.nfljerseyscheapfromchina.cc/]cheap nfl jerseys china[/url] .Y. -- Syracuse has turned up the defence at the right time all season, and when High Point threatened to pull off a monumental upset the second-ranked Orange did what they do best with their quick hands and savvy play. [url=http://www.nfljerseyscheapfromchina.cc/]nfl jerseys china[/url] . -- New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis is retiring after a 16-year career to become the goalie coach for the Los Angeles Galaxy. In September, espnWs weekly essay series will focus on college football.When I was 14, my brother enrolled at the University of Oregon, and I felt something like betrayal when he, and then my parents, started watching the Ducks. At that age, I was at peak insecure snottiness, and I pictured myself being above the weekly bacchanal that overtook Eugene every fall.A few years later, two things happened. First, I moved to Portland for college. Its not far, but its far enough and big enough that the Ducks arent the center of the universe -- especially within the ivory tower confines of my college -- and I found, to my surprise, that I missed them.I was homesick, awkward and wrestling with my identity. I wore my Oregon hoodie like armor in the campus coffee shop. And then LaMichael James happened. James, in 2009, was slippery and tough at the same time. He ripped through seams in defenses, always stayed up five or 10 or 50 yards longer than anyone expected. He had a side gig as a passable collegiate-level sprinter. Watching him, I realized for the first time: this is fun.Saturday afternoons, I would hole up in my dorm room, put on the Ducks game and forget about whatever existential crisis I was going through. My boss in college was a graduate of Oregon State University. He teased me about the Ducks reliance on Uncle Phil -- Phil Knight, Nike co-founder and Oregon booster. My comeback was always lethal: we were winning.Although DeAnthony Thomas didnt come along until two years later, nobody embodied the jubilant excitement of that time for the team like the electric running back. If James was a bullet train, Thomas was a fighter jet -- blistering fast, always fakingg and juking and making everyone else look like useless man-babies.dddddddddddd. He, too, ran track in the spring, better than James.?Thomas was undeniable. It was impossible not to get excited watching him.James, Thomas and the divinely gifted Marcus Mariota were the faces of Chip Kellys no-huddle, speed-of-sound offense. They were the bannermen of a charmed era in Oregon football.Southeastern Conference purists will tell you the Ducks only looked great at that time because of the conference they played in. Theres some truth to that, but it didnt matter to me. All I knew was that whatever else seemed confusing and uncertain in my world, I always knew the Ducks were going to win the day. The only question was whether theyd win by 50 points, or just 10.Everything about that time felt special. We (we is how Id begun thinking of the Ducks) were exciting, flashy and cool. The team would take the field in mirror-finish or black helmets and jerseys with wings on the shoulders and perform a weekly ritual of running opposing defenses to the point of exhaustion. Nobody could catch us, and we looked good, too.Although it took me 18 years to figure it out, this is the fact: underneath the slick uniforms, the speed, the 12-0 seasons, the more powerful attraction is always the tribe, the feeling of understanding exactly where in the world you belong.The Ducks still feel like home.Katelyn Best is a writer and journalist in Portland, Oregon. Her work has appeared in Portland Monthly, Excelle Sports and the Toast. 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