Summer Olympic Games is an international multi sport event which occurs at an interval of 4 years and is organized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It is officially known as Games of XXXI Olympiad. The 2016 edition is a 17 day Olympiad, from August 5 to August 21.
The host, Rio De Janeiro was announced at the 121st IOC session held in Copenhagen, Denmark on 2nd October 2009. It is the first game to be held in a Portuguese speaking country. It is commonly known as Rio 2016.
With 3 months to commence this historic event, it is a challenge for the Brazilians to prove themselves once again after successfully arranging the FIFA World Cup 2014. Its motto is Viva Sua Paxiaa or Live your Passion.
This major sport event in the world, featuring 28 games and 306 events, being a commonplace for 10500 athletes coming from 206 National Olympic Committee (NOC) countries all over the world, bears first entrants Kosovo and South Sudan.
Some fascinating facts about the world’s greatest event :
1. South American soil
It is the first time in the Olympic history that a South American country has hosted the Games, leaving Africa as the only continent yet to arrange this major sport event. The country won its bid in 20009, beating out Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo.
2. Torch Relay
The torch relay begins on April 21 in the Games birthplace – Olympia in Greece-before truly across Brazil for more than 90 days and reaching Rio on August 5. While in Greece , it will pass through the Eloenas refugee camp, near Athens, where one resident would be selected as the torch bearer.
3. Opening and Closing ceremony
The ceremony is held in Rio’s Marcana stadium, solely a football stadium, which boasts the world record for the most fans to attend a soccer game. It is first in the Olympic history that the ceremonies are not held in an athletic stadium.
The Mascot for this event is Vinicius, a yellow and blue creature representing Brazilian wildlife. It resembles a cat or a monkey that can fly and has the power to stretch its limbs and body. It is named after Bossa Nova musician Vinicius de Moraes. Rio 2016 estimates it will raise them 1 billion Reais ( $398 million) in merchandising. It represents the diversity of the Brazilian people and culture, as well as its exuberant nature.
34 venues are selected to stage the competitions. 18 of them are already operating. The venues are located in 4 different districts in Brazil- Copacabana, whose world famous beaches will host beach volleyball; Bara de Tijuva, home to the Olympic park; Deodoro, for aquatics, BMX and equestrian centers; and Marcana, which features large stadiums. Additional 5 venues are finalized, located in Salvador, Brasilia (Brazil’s capital), Manaus, Belo Horizonto and Sau Paula (Brazil’s largest city).
6. Introducing 2000 born
It is the first to feature the Olympians born in 2000, Rules state that all the competitors must have been born before 1 January 2003, but many sports have other age requirements for health and safety reasons. Youngest competitors are likely to be from gymnastics and diving.
7. Debut and Return
Rugby sevens will make its debut in Rio Games with both the U.S women’s and men’s team considered to be the medal baggers. Its is a variant of rugby union in which seven players are required instead of fifteen, lasting only fifteen minutes.
A team of athletes who have been forced to flee their countries will be allowed to compete for the first time. IOC says 5-10 refugees are expected to qualify and compete under the Olympic flag.
There are 7.5 million tickets, costing $40 for some events to almost $3000 for the best seats at the ceremony. Most popular games so far are soccer, basketball, volleyball and handball. The Brazilian government also aims to gather a huge revenue from this, as there will be huge foreign visitors to witness the events.
Extensive renovation on transport has been initiated following Rio 2016. Rio metro and building two underground lines and adding six more subway stations ahead of Olympics. The renovated transport system will be able to carry 230000 passengers per day during the Olympic period. This gigantic task was completed in December 2015.
Organizers say that 60000 meals will be prepared per day to feed the athletes. Brazilian staples like black beans, rice and barbecued meat will be accompanied by other local offerings such as tapioca, pao de queijo(cheese bread) and acai (an Amazonian fruit).
Rio games aim 70000 volunteers, the first fifty of whom have already been selected, mostly from Brazil. Around 85000 soldiers and policemen will be deployed. The largest security force assembled at any event in Brazil’s history and twice as large as the security presence for London 2012.
13. Brazil in throttle
Rio’s taxi drivers or taxitas are being given the chance to sign up for free online English lessons provided by the Rio 2016 organizing committee. Drivers are often the first spot of contact for fans, and those who take 4 months course will most likely be swapping oi! for hi!.
14. Olympic village.
The village stretches over 185 acres. This huge area will accommodate 17700 beds in 9460 bedrooms in 48 multi storeyed buildings. Each apartment is made up of three or four bedrooms.
The event is supposed to cost over 37.6 billion Brazilian Real. Approximately 24.1 billion has been estimated for the infrastructure of the city, while 6.5 Real billion for sports facilities . It has invested over 5.6 billion to build the Olympic park in Rio. The success of this kind of mega event is largely dependent on the amount of money invested.
This mega event is a big responsibility for the Brazilians and they are reved up to stage the huge show leaving all startled !