Rio 2016

Rio 2016

Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro will be the first Olympic Games to be held in South America. This spectacular city with be the backdrop for the world’s best athletes to compete at this the 31st Summer Olympic Games.

It is a huge task for the city and the venues to be ready for August 2016, however the IOC and Organising Committee know it can be done if not a single day is wasted.  

The world got a taste for the passion and love of sport of the Brazilian people and their ability to stage a wonderful event when they hosted the Football World Cup in June/July 2014. 

The Brazilians are hoping to nearly double their medal total from London 2012. They are hoping to win between 27 and 30 medals after winning 17 in 2012. The local team always gets a big boost as hosts and this will really add to the Games. The Australian Team will be hoping to get a boost from the green and gold of the local fans. 

Maracanã stadium


Rio de Janeiro proposes to stage the Games in four clusters around the city, with most of the venues and the Olympic Village in the western suburbs of Barra de Tijuca.Some venues were built for the Pan American Games. The biggest project will be the Olympic Park, a development that will include the village and sports venues that are supposed to remain as a training center for athletes from South America.

Opening and closing ceremonies will be held in the famous Maracana Stadium was renovated ahead of the 2014 Football World Cup. The budget for infrastructure for the Rio Olympics is $11 billion.

Despite some big concerns over venues not being ready and some areas back-of-house areas for media and VIPs never being completed it was a truly spectacular event that exceeded most people's expectations. The country was left devastated when the host nation was thrashed by Germany 7-1 in the sem-final and then were beaten for third by The Netherlands.

Christ the Redeemer overlooking Maracana

The Winning Bid

In Copenhagen on October 2, 2009, Rio de Janeiro had an overwhelming victory in the host city elections for 2016. The city will be the first South American host in the history of the Games.Chicago with the US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle as part of the presentation were the favourites. But they failed to inspire and to many people's disbelief Chicago went out in the first round of voting only securing 18 of a possible 94. Madrid had 28, Rio 26 and Tokyo 22.

Tokyo, who are the only city to have hosted previously back in 1964, went out in round 2 with 20, while Rio had 46 and Madrid 29. Madrid who went very close to winning the 2016 Games from London secured 32 votes in the final vote with Rio dominating with 66. (Tokyo went on to win the 2020 vote and Madrid were left bitterly disappointed again).

Rio de Janeiro had the enchanting story - of about 400 million sports-mad people on a giant untapped and vibrant continent yearning, hoping, that the Olympics finally might come to them. They confronted the crime problem in Rio head on, promised that with their vibrant economy finance is no problem and stressed it is South America's time - 'It is time to address this imbalance'. At the famous Copacabana beach where beach volleyball will be play 50,000 residents cheered at the result and the partying went for days.

Games Trivia



The mascots of Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games are inspired by the Brazilian fauna and flora. They feature various influences from pop culture, along with elements of animation and computer game characters. The mascots are ambassadors for the Games and play a fundamental role in disseminating the messages of the event and the values of the Olympic and Paralympic Movements to various target audiences, especially children and young people.

The origin of the Rio 2016 mascots blends fiction and reality. According to the story, on 2 October 2009, when Rio de Janeiro was elected to host the Games, the people’s great joy was felt by nature and from this energy the mascots were born.

The Olympic mascot represents all of the different animals in Brazil. The Paralympic mascot, in turn, is a unique mixture of the Brazilian flora. To create them, the Rio 2016 Organising Committee held a national bidding process. To sign off and ensure the authenticity of the mascot selection process, they invited Anima Mundi Festival directors to be consultants. Birdo Produções, from São Paulo, won the bidding process and created the project.

After the mascots’ unveiling, a poll to decide their names was opened. Everyone can vote for their choice from a shortlist of three pairs of names, one for the Olympic mascot, the other for the Paralympic mascot, respectively. The name choices are Oba and Eba; Tiba Tuque and Esquindim; and Vinicius and Tom. People can vote at as well as on the Rio 2016 Twitter feed (@Rio2016).

“The mascots are one of the most representative symbols of the Games. Their purpose is to delight and engage the audience, particularly the children”, says Carlos Arthur Nuzman, president of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Rio 2016 mascots will have their own website and profiles on social media.

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Did you know?

Gold and silver medals must be made of 92.5 percent pure silver; the gold medal must be gilded with at least six grams of gold.