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Rio 2016 – Brazil hosts Summer Olympics

The Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil are from 5 to 21 August, 2016. The Paraolympics follow on the 7 to 18 September, 2016.

The world's most famous football stadium, Maracana stadium, Rio de Janeiro Brazil.
Maracana stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The Rio 2016 opening ceremony will be at the Maracana Stadium on August 5, 2016.
©bigstockphoto.com/Celso Pupo

Countdown to Rio 2016

The Rio 2016 opening ceremony will be at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Maracanã is the world’s most famous football (soccer) stadium, originally built for the 1950 Footlball World Cup and renovated for the 2013 Confederations Cup, the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the Olympics in Rio 2016.

The Football finals for both women and men will also be at Maracanã Stadium.

Every 4 years before

The Olympic Games are a global multi-sporting event subdivided into summer and winter games. Previously, the summer and winter games were the same year, with a 4 year gap between games.

Every 2 years now

Since 1992, the schedule changed and these days the winter and summer games alternate by 2 years. The last Summer Olympics was inLondon 2012 and the last winter games were in Sochi, Russia in 2014. The next winter games will be in Pyeongchang, South Korea from 9 to 25 February, 2018

Olympic flame relay

The summer games are usually highlighted by a torch relay featuring the Olympic flame prior to the official opening ceremony. In the context of the modern Olympic Games, the Olympic flame represents positive values associated with fire. The relay begins in Olympia, Greece a few months before the opening of the Olympic Games. The flame is lit in front of the ruins of the Temple of Hera by actresses playing the part of priestesses.

For the winter games the torch is lit in the same way as for the summer games, with one difference: the handing over of the flame to the first runner takes place near the monument to Pierre de Coubertin near the stadium.

Another highlight prior to the competitions is the opening ceremony, which features lots of entertainment including a participant parade, an opening speech, the Olympic anthem, and raising the Olympic flag and finally lighting the Olympic torch with the flame form the relay. Following the Olympic Games are the Paralympic Games, with elite sport events for athletes from different disability groups.

Olympic summer sports

The 2016 summer games sports are: diving, swimming, synchronized swimming, water polo, archery, athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, canoeing, slalom, sprint, bmx, mountain biking, road- and track cycling, dressage, eventing, jumping, fencing, field hockey, football, golf, artistic and rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline, handball, judo , modern pentathlon, rowing, rugby sevens, sailing, shooting, table tennis , taekwondo, tennis, triathlon, volleyball, beach volleyball, weightlifting, freestyle and greco-roman wrestling.

Winter sports

The 2018 Olympic winter sports are: figure skating, speed skating, and short track speed skating, alpine, cross-country skiing, freestyle, Nordic combined, ski jumping and snowboarding, bobsleigh and skeleton, biathlon, curling, ice hockey, and luge (sledding).

World wide followers

Billions of people around the world follow the Olympics online, on TV, radio, in newspapers etc. Over the years, the Olympic Games have grown enormously both in size and popularity. More than 200 countries participate in today’s Olympics, which started with less than 250 athletes at the first games in 1896.

Holidays in host cities

Some businesses in host cities suspend their operations during the Olympic Games. Some workers living in host cities take their annual vacation during this time of the year to volunteer for or watch the Olympic Games. Hotel reservation rates also rise during the games.

Modern Olympic history

On June 23, 1894 Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in a ceremony held at the University of Sorbonne in Paris, France. Demetrius Vikelas from Greece became the first president of the IOC and two years later, in 1896, the first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens, where Coubertin was elected as the second IOC president, a role he kept until 1925.

The second Olympic Games took place in Paris, France. It was the first Olympic event where women were allowed to compete. Some past Olympic sports that are no longer practiced at the Olympic Games include tug-of-war, golf, rugby, polo and lacrosse.

Olympic rings and symbols

The Olympic spirit is symbolized by the Olympic flag (including logo), charter, motto, anthem, emblems, posters, mascots, torches, medals, and pictogram.

The flag features five interlaced Olympic rings, blue, yellow, black, green and red at the center on a white background. Each ring represents one of five continents reinforcing the idea of the Olympic Movement’s universality through uniting countries around the world.

The Olympic charter is the codification of the fundamental principles of Olympism, while the Olympic motto is made up of three Latin words “Citius, Altius, Fortius”, meaning “Faster, Higher, Stronger”.

The Olympic flame, featured in the torch relay leading up to the start of the games, represents the positive values that are associated with fire. The purity of the flame is guaranteed by the way it is lit using the sun’s rays. The choice of Olympia, Greece as a departure point emphasizes the link between the ancient and modern games and underlines the profound connection between these two events.

In this Article

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Olympic Events

  1. Sochi Hosts Winter Olympics in February 2014
  2. 2014 Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi
  3. Summer Olympics in Rio 2016
  4. Paralympics Follow Olympics in 2012

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