How do we know that Rio 2016 was a success

06 Dec 2016
IOC News RIO 2016

The Olympic Games Rio 2016 were a true success story. This was underlined today in the meeting of the IOC Executive Board (EB) when facts and figures were presented. Rio 2016 were the most consumed Olympic Games in history. Here we take a close look at the facts behind the success of the Olympic Games Rio 2016.

Rio 2016

The Olympic Games Rio 2016 were iconic in so many respects. Over the course of 16 glorious days, we witnessed new records, personal bests, great emotions and inspiring sportsmanship that only the magic of the Olympic Games can create. Off the field of play too, Rio 2016 was a great successRio 2016 set new records for global visibility and awareness, it also set new standards for legacy planning.



  • The Olympic Games Rio 2016 were the most consumed Olympic Games ever
  • Half the world’s population watched coverage of the Games
  • Over 7 billion video views of official content on social media platforms
  • Olympic Games increasingly associated with terms including “excellence”, “friendship”, “respect”, as well as “diversity”, “inspirational”, “unity”, “universal” and “youthful”
  • Rio 2016 has left behind a great legacy for the city of Rio de Janeiro
  • Access to high-quality public transport for citizens has increased from 18% in 2009 to 63% at the end of 2016
  • Athletes from 206 NOCs plus the first-ever Refugee Olympic Team participated
  • Over 11,000 athletes of whom more than 45% were women, the highest number ever
  • Women competed in every sport at the Games for the second time running
  • 10 refugee athletes competed as part of the first-ever Refugee Olympic Team
  • Two NOCs—Kosovo and South Sudan–participated in the Olympic Games for the first time
  • Nine NOCs won their first-ever gold medals (Bahrain, Fiji, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kosovo, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Tajikistan and Vietnam)


Visibility and Awareness

The Olympic Games Rio 2016 were the most consumed Olympic Games ever, taking into consideration broadcast coverage viewed on television and digital platforms, as well as engagement on social media. Stunning backdrops and iconic venues also helped create unforgettable moments.
  • Broadcasters around the world made more television coverage and more digital coverage available than ever before: over 350,000 hours total for Rio 2016 compared to almost 200,000 hours for London 2012
  • Half the world’s population watched coverage of the Olympic Games Rio 2016
  • Olympic Games Rio 2016 broadcast content viewed online was over double that of London 2012
  • Over 7 billion video views of official content on social media platforms
  • According to global independent research commissioned by the IOC, 82% of spectators surveyed said their experience was better than expected and rated their enjoyment as 9.5 out of 10
  • The association of the Olympic Games with terms, including the Olympic values of “excellence”, “friendship”, “respect”, as well as “diversity”, “inspirational”, “unity”, “universal” and “youthful”, has increased since London 2012
  • The awareness and appeal of the Olympic Games remains the highest amongst all the measured sports and entertainment events surveyed
  • Global awareness of the Olympic rings remains very high, with nine out of ten people surveyed correctly identifying them
  • Iconic venues like Copacabana beach, the Sambodrome, the Maracanã Stadium and the Lagoa created unforgettable images
Rio 2016 IOC


Our presentation of the Rio Games is the most impressive undertaking in the media world. NBC Sports Group Chairman,
Mark Lazarus

Nine out of 10 people who had access to TV in Brazil saw coverage of the Games. The men’s football gold medal match had the highest sports audience in Brazil since the current auditing system was established in 2006.

The Rio 2016 men’s gold medal badminton match received a higher audience in China than any London 2012 event.

Viewers in Japan watched more coverage of Rio 2016 than they did of London 2012, and the three most watched programmes were of women’s events.

NBC Olympics digital video totalled 3.4 billion streaming minutes for Rio 2016 – of which 2.71 billion were of live coverage, over 1.2 billion minutes more than all previous Olympic Games combined.

The Olympic Games Rio 2016 provided an unparalleled opportunity to promote the Visa brand on the world stage. Chris Curtin, Chief Brand & Innovation Marketing Officer,
Visa Inc.


  • The Partners helped bring the Olympic Games to life through global promotional campaigns, with unprecedented real-time social media activation, as well as popular showcasing venues at the Olympic Park and around Rio de Janeiro.
  • The Worldwide TOP Partners provided critical financial support to the organisers of Rio 2016 and every National Olympic Committee, as well as products, technology and services to directly support the staging of the Games.
  • The Worldwide TOP Partners supported community, education, sustainability and infrastructure development projects throughout Rio de Janeiro.

Legacy & Transformation

The Olympic Games Rio 2016 leave behind a strong legacy for the city of Rio de Janeiro. In addition to new transport infrastructure and revitalisation of parts of the city, one venue used for the Games is being converted into four schools. An education project established as part of Games preparations is now being rolled out across Brazil and beyond.
We have built a fantastic legacy for the city that was only possible thanks to the Olympic Games. Eduardo Paes,
Mayor of Rio
  • The majority of respondents interviewed as part of independent research commissioned by the IOC, in both Brazil and internationally, believed that a positive legacy will be left in the host city and country
  • Access to high quality public transportation for citizens has increased from 18% in 2009 to 63% at the end of 2016
  • New transportation links have been inaugurated: new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lines and New Metro Line 4
  • The historic Porto Maravilha area has been revitalised
  • The canoe slalom venue has also become a public swimming pool
  • Six venues in the Olympic Park will form the nucleus of Brazil's first Olympic Training Centre
  • The handball venue is being converted into four schools
  • Carioca Arena 3 will be converted into an Olympic Experimental School
  • The Transforma programme reached over 8+ million students / 16,000 schools / in 3,000+ cities / in 20+ countries
  • According to a study by the Ministry of Tourism, 87% of foreign tourists have the intention to come back to Brazil and 94% want to visit to Rio de Janeiro again
  • The success of the Olympic Games Rio 2016 brought pride and confidence to all Brazilians, bringing together the whole country at a difficult time
The city has become even more marvellous. Our sons will be proud to say, ‘I’m Carioca’ Rio Resident
Rio 2016 Getty Images

Stunning Sporting Achievements

Rio 2016 witnessed some stunning sporting achievements by athletes on the field of  play. Several established athletes confirmed their position in the pantheon of sporting greats, while new stars emerged. Over 100 Olympic and world records were broken in athletics, swimming, archery, cycling, weightlifting, shooting and modern pentathlon.



The Olympic Games Rio 2016 united and inspired Brazilians at a time when it really mattered, uniting them in a uniquely Brazilian spirit of celebration and demonstrating the extraordinary diversity of Brazil.
  • The Olympic Torch Relay inspired and engaged the entire country during a 95-day tour that took in 325 towns and cities, covering each of Brazil's 26 states and the Federal District and included 12,400 torch-bearers
  • USD 430m in ticketing revenue, 18% over target
  • 70% of tickets sold to Brazilian citizens, reaching residents from all over Brazil
  • The Games provided training and employment opportunities for local people
  • Job creation accounted for 82% of Rio’s local economic growth
  • The income of the poorest 5% grew 29.3% against 19.96% of the richest 5%
  • A culture of volunteering developed along with increased national selfesteem

The Opening Ceremony was awesome. I’ve always watched it on television back at home, so to be there was an amazing experience…. And the stadium where we played, with the crowd and the atmosphere – it’s just a beautiful place to be Collins Injera, Kenya, Rugby

Rio 2016 IOC

Universal & Inclusive Games

The Olympic Games Rio 2016 were truly universal and inclusive. More NOCs than ever before sent athletes to the Games, while women’s participation reached an all time high. For the first time in the history of the Olympic Games a team of refugee athletes was able to participate as part of the Refugee Olympic Team.
  • The only global event in a troubled world where the whole world comes together
  • A strong signal of unity in diversity for the international community
  • Athletes from 206 NOCs in addition to the first-ever Refugee Olympic Team
  • More than 45% of athletes were women, the highest number ever
  • 50 NOCs had more women than men in their delegations
  • The Refugee Olympic Team sent a message of inclusion and hope for refugees around the world and received praise from the UN Secretary-General, world leaders at the UN General Assembly as well as leaders from faith, business and other areas of society
I was honoured to meet the refugee athletes .... They were a powerful reminder of sport’s ability to promote dignity and human rights. United Nations Secretary General,
Ban-ki Moon
  • Olympic Solidarity supported 815 individual competitors from 171 NOCs as well as the Refugee Olympic Team and helped them win 101 individual medals (33 gold, 26 silver and 42 bronze) 
  • 87 NOCs won medals during Rio 2016
  • Two NOCs — Kosovo and South Sudan — participated in the Olympic Games for the first time
  • Three NOCs — Fiji, Jordan and Kosovo – won their first-ever medals, all of them gold
  • Nine NOC s won their first ever gold medals (Bahrein, Côte d'Ivoire, Fiji, Jordan, Kosovo, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Vietnam, and Tajikistan)
  • 514 Youth Olympic Games Alumni won 80 medals, including 19 gold medals

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