Rio 2016 unveils athletes’ village to mark Olympic Day

Picture by 2016 Getty Images

Rio 2016 athletes’ village was unveiled on 23 June to mark Olympic Day. In one month's time, on 24 July, the first of thousands of athletes and team officials will start moving into the buildings that will be their home for the duration of the Games. Brazilian basketball star Janeth Arcain, a two-time Olympic medalist, was announced as 'Mayor' of the Olympic Village.

The Olympic and Paralympic Village consists of 31 apartment buildings, some as high as 17 storeys. In total, there are 3,604 apartments, which will be home to more than 17,000 athletes and team officials during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and 6,000 during the Paralympic Games.

Rio athletes village

The village will be more than just a place to sleep for athletes and their entourages. During the Games it will be a real home where people can relax, work out and access all the day-to-day services they need without leaving the site. Facilities at the Rio 2016 village include a laundry, a florist, convenience stores, a bank, post office, ticket booth and even a hairdresser and beauty salon.

A round-the-clock dining hall is expected to serve more than 60,000 meals per day during the Games. Over 21,000 square meters of space mean that you could park 5 jumbo jet planes inside.

Rio athletes village

There are 1,800 square meters of gym space, which will be open for athletes to use 24 hours a day. A multi-faith centre will cater to the religious needs of nearly all major religions.

A training exercise with the volunteers who will work there has been planned for next week. "Having a well-prepared team is fundamental to the success of the village," said Mario Cilenti, director of the village.

Meet the Mayor

Brazilian basketball star Janeth Arcain has been given the role of the mayor of the village. Her main duties will be welcoming athletes and officials to the village and ensuring that everything is in place so they can compete to their highest level. A world champion with the Brazilian national side in 2004, Arcain picked up an Olympic silver medal at Atlanta 1996 and bronze at Sydney 2000. "For me, taking on this role is like winning a medal," she said.

Janeth Arcain

No other woman has scored more Olympic basketball points than Arcain. She was also the first Brazilian woman to play in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) in the USA, where she won four championships with the Houston Comets. In 2015, Arcain joined the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

Away from the courts, in 2002 she established the Instituto Janeth Arcain, which each year provides about 700 children with access to sporting opportunities.