Countdown to the Rio Summer Olympic Games: key facts and figures.
As of this writing, we are 216 days away from the biggest sporting event on the planet: The Summer Olympic Games. The event is scheduled to take place in Rio de Janeiro, our Cidade Maravilhosa (The Marvellous City), in August and will last seventeen days: from 5th to 21st.
The ancient Olympic Games started in Olympia, Greece, in 776 BC and were discontinued in 392 AD. The modern Olympic Games were resumed in 1896. This year, for the first time in history, the games will happen in Latin American. The previous 27 editions took place in 22 cities located in North America (6 times); Europe (16 times); Asia (3 times) and Oceania (twice).
The last Summer Games were in London. If you had a chance to be there, you still remember the exciting atmosphere of the city in the weeks predating the 2012 event: one could feel the electricity in the air. London was more beautiful than ever and cheerful crowds paced up and down Oxford Street under the hanging national flags of the participating nations.
We hope we can replicate the excellence of the organization and the elegance of the London event in Rio de Janeiro this year. Rio itself is already one of the most stunning cities on the planet. The aim is to beautify it even further to welcome the best athletes of the world and their fans. Here are eight important facts and figures about the upcoming Rio Olympics:
1. Rio is expecting 10,500 athletes from 206 countries.
2. There will be 306 medal events. The events are divided up according to gender in the following way: 161 men’s events, 136 women’s and 9 mixed.
3. 42 different sports will feature in the games. There are two additions to the London games: golf and rugby.
4. Tickets are already being sold: 7.5 million tickets will be available, of which, 3.8 million will cost less than U$ 30.
5. The games will take place in 32 venues located in 4 different regions of Rio: Deodoro, Maracanã, Barra and Copacabana.
6. The Rio Olympic torch was designed with the aim to project a combination of the traditional Olympic values and the energy, diversity and warmth of the Brazilian people. In my humble opinion, it looks awesome. The ritual of the torch relay will cover the whole country and will be carried out for 200m.
7. The event’s mascot is called Vinicius, in honor of poet Vinicius de Moraes, one of the icons of the Bossa Nova movement. The mascot represents an amalgamation of the rich Brazilian fauna.
8. Despite all the optimism, there are also concerns: Brazil is undergoing one of its most serious economic and political crises in recent history. Will that affect the games? Will social unrest - if things do not improve in the next six months - somehow overshadow the brilliance of the event?
Power forecasters are already trying to predict which country will be awarded the most golden medals – of course, The US and China are the frontrunners. Will we have a repeat of the extraordinary performance of a Michael Phelps? What joys and surprises await us in the opening and closing ceremonies? It will be hard to beat the thrill of the London Olympics - when we witnessed the Queen of Elizabeth II parachuting from a helicopter into the Olympic Stadium, after being escorted by James Bonds (Daniel Craig), or watching Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson) running on the beach to the soundtrack of Chariots of Fire. But I trust the creativity and sense of humor of the Brazilian people will gift the audience with something as memorable.