A few things you might not know about Rio 2016

18 Jul 2016
RIO 2016 IOC News

The Olympic Games Rio 2016 will produce lasting and meaningful benefits for the host country, put people and athletes at the heart of the Games, and promote a level playing field for those athletes. Here we take a look at how Rio 2016 – the first Games to be held in South America – has embraced these key areas. 


Creating Games that are truly sustainable and that generate a lasting legacy for the host city and country is central to the IOC’s mission. In Rio, everywhere one looks, the positive impact of this approach is already clearly visible, and there is little doubt that the positive reverberations of this year’s Games will be being felt by the city and its inhabitants in decades to come. Here are just some impressive examples of the legacy initiatives that have already been undertaken, or which will be put into practice after the Games draw to a close.

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  • The port area in downtown Rio de Janeiro has undergone major redevelopment, transforming it into a vibrant cultural and leisure complex.
  • Deodoro area (canoe slalom and BMX) open to the public after the Games, providing leisure areas for the local population.
  • The handball venue will be converted into four schools after the Games.
  • The Aquatics Stadium will be converted into two public water sports facilities, each equipped with 50m pools.
  • The Olympic Park will provide the location for a new GEO (Olympic) school after the Games.
  • Rio will have approximately 70 new hotels as a result of the Games.
  • The city will benefit from a vastly improved waste management system.
  • Worldwide TOP Partner Dow is implementing energy-efficient and low-carbon technologies and projects across major sectors of the Brazilian economy to reduce carbon emissions and deliver climate benefits beyond the Games.
  • Worldwide TOP Partner GE will leave the city of Rio de Janeiro with better, more efficient lighting in public spaces including Flamengo Park, Rio’s largest public park.
  • GE is also transforming the technology at Rio de Janeiro’s Souza Aguiar Hospital by providing radiology imaging systems.
  • The Rio transport network now has a host of improved or new facilities including an additional metro line, new roads, an enhanced rail network and modernised international airport.

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People have always been the beating heart of the Olympic Games, from the thousands of torchbearers who help the Olympic flame on its journey from Olympia to the host city, and the volunteers who ensure that the Games work smoothly, to the hundreds of thousands of spectators who fill the venues with noise, passion and colour, and the millions of sports fans around the world who will, for two weeks in August, remain glued to their screens. In Rio, a city famous for its carnival, the importance of the human spirit will be as evident as ever. Here are a few statistics that underline how people, individually and collectively, are woven into the fabric of the Games.

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  • The Olympic Torch Relay, which carried the Olympic flame from Greece to Rio in the two months leading up to the Games involved approximately 12,000 torchbearers.
  • During the Games some 20,000 members of the international media (press and broadcasters) will gather in Rio to help ensure that the drama of the Games reaches every corner of the globe.
  • Thousands of new jobs and training opportunities have been created as a result of the Games in Rio. For example some 16,000 additional staff positions have been generated to service the new hotels and apartments built ahead of the Games.
  • Approximately one million English lessons were available for local volunteers and service providers such as taxi drivers
  • Approximately 50,000 volunteers for the Games were selected from 240,000 applicants, helping to develop a stronger culture of volunteerism in Brazil (50% of all Brazilian candidates were 25 years old or younger).
  • Rio 2016 will be the first ever edition of the Olympic Games to include a Refugee Olympic Team.
  • Helping to make the Games in Rio happen will be a workforce of over 90,000 (including staff, volunteers, and contractors).
  • Over six million students in Brazil and elsewhere have benefitted from the Rio 2016 Transforma programme.
  • Hundreds of thousands of passionate sports fans in the venues and the town.
  • Worldwide TOP Partner Coca-Cola’s Coletivo Coca-Cola programme has employed young people from Rio de Janeiro’s favelas, giving them valuable work experience in hospitality and venue operations.

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The Olympic Games are the greatest international sporting event on the planet, and also the oldest, and so, of course, it is essential that the main protagonists – the world’s finest athletes – remain at the very centre of the planning and implementation. Rio 2016, will see a number of significant firsts, with rugby and golf returning to the programme after an absence of many decades, and refugee athletes competing for the first time on the Olympic stage. Here are some other significant stats that highlight how Rio will be hosting the world’s greatest celebration of sport

  • Approximately 10,500 athletes from 206 NOCs recognised by the IOC including one currently suspended + Refugee Olympic Team (ROT).
  • The programme will feature 28 sports, including golf and rugby sevens, which mark their return to the Olympic stage after a long absence.
  • There will be a total of 306 medal events taking place at 32 competition venues in Rio, as well as, in the case of football, five other cities around Brazil.
  • In the build-up to Rio, there were 44 test events staged at the Olympic venues in order to fine tune preparations for Games time.

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A level playing field

The IOC has been at the vanguard of the international fight against doping in sport, and the protection of clean athletes. And in Rio, more than ever before, rigourous and comprehensive measures will be in place to help safeguard the integrity of the Games and the principles of clean competition. Below are some of the ways that this will be achieved.

  • Targeted pre-testing prior to the Olympic Games Rio 2016, based on intelligence gathering
  • Over 1,200 individual and 1,000 team athletes selected for monitoring of testing history. By the end of June 2016, 684 recommendations for extra testing had been sent to 13 IFs and 62 national anti-doping organisations for athletes from 96 different countries.
  • Targeted major re-analysis programme from stored samples from Beijing 2008 and London 2012 using the latest scientific methods and based on an intelligence gathering in cooperation with WADA and the International Federations. To date over 1000 tests have been completed.
  • Samples from Rio 2016 will now be stored for ten years pending the development of new scientific methods and gathering of new intelligence.
  • Up to 4,500 urine and 1000 blood anti-doping tests will be conducted in Rio.
  • The sanctioning of doping cases at Rio 2016 will be independently handled by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)
  • More than 200 doping control officers will be on duty in Rio

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