Get ready for the start of the 2016 Olympic Gameswith our cheat sheet containing everything you need to know ahead of the start of the world’s biggest sporting even this summer.
The 2016 Olympic Games
Held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the 2016 Olympic Games officially start on Friday 5th August with the opening ceremony held at Maracana Stadium. Over 206 countries will be competing in 42 different sports, and representatives from each country have been chosen to carry the flags in the opening ceremony. Olympic and Wimbledon champion Andy Murray has been chose to carry the flag for Team GB, and he has said that this will be ‘an incredible honour, the biggest in sport’. The ceremony is scheduled to take place at 20:00 local time (00:00 BST).
The Games will finish on Saturday 21st August, with the closing ceremony also taking place at the Maracana Stadium. This formal ceremonial closing will include the closing speeches, hoisting of the flags and extinguishing the Olympic flame.
Why was Brazil chosen?
It’s quite a long process choosing a new Olympic host city. From the invitation phase to the final election of a city, it takes 3 years. Rio competed against Madrid, Chicago and Tokyo for the coveted spot, with Chicago and Tokyo eliminated in the first two rounds. The final round of voting was held in October 2009, and Rio won by 66 votes against the 32 votes given to Madrid. The deciding factors included South America never having hosted an Olympics, and the regeneration the Games would bring to Rio, Brazil and South America. Check out this handy flow chart which explains the whole process for choosing a new host city.
Will Brazil be ready to host the games?
Whether or not Brazil will be ready to host the Olympic Games has been a hot topic in recent weeks. With the outbreak of the Zika virus, delays in building the Olympic venues and even protests marring the arrival of the Olympic torch, the journey to the Opening Ceremony has not been easy or smooth.
However, the sporting venues have now been completed and some of the poorer areas where some events are taking place, such as Deodoro, now get access to basic sanitation, clean water and better public transport – many things that they didn’t have before the arrival of the Games.
It’s true Rio, just like all the other contenders, made lofty promises during the bid process. And, true Brazil has come up short on some of those promises, but by and large things seem to be ready. Even the IOC and Rio 2016 organisers say that the Games are ready.
Are there any new sports this year?
The 2016 Olympic Games sees the return of golf after 112 years and rugby after 92 years.
With 306 events taking place over the 19 days of the competition, there’s plenty to keep you entertained. There’s a full competition schedule available to download on the official Rio website, but here’s some of the key events you need to know about (you might want to clear your schedule for Saturday 6 August!):
Boxing – starts Saturday 6 August
Swimming – starts Saturday 6 August
Gymnastics – starts Saturday 6 August
Diving – starts Sunday 7 August
Cycling (track) – starts Thursday 11 August
Athletics – starts Friday 12 August
Are you visiting Rio to watch any of the Olympic Games? We’d love to hear from you. And make sure you like our Facebook page and stay tuned for our Summer of Sport giveaway.