2016 Summer Olympics

"Rio 2016" redirects here. For the Summer Paralympics, see 2016 Summer Paralympics.
Games of the XXXI Olympiad
A green, gold and blue coloured design, featuring three people joining hands in a circular formation, sits above the words "Rio 2016", written in a stylistic font. The Olympic rings are placed underneath.
Host city Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Motto A new world
(Portuguese: Um mundo novo)
Nations participating 205
Athletes participating 11,544[1]
Events 306 in 28 sports
Opening ceremony 5 August
Closing ceremony 21 August
Officially opened by Vice President Michel Temer
as Acting President
Athlete's Oath Robert Scheidt
Judge's Oath Martinho Nobre
Coach's Oath Adriana Santos
Olympic Torch Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima
Stadium Maracanã Stadium
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The 2016 Summer Olympics (Portuguese: Jogos Olímpicos de Verão de 2016),[lower-alpha 1] officially known as the Games of the XXXI Olympiad and commonly known as Rio 2016, was a major international multi-sport event held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 5 August to 21 August 2016.

More than 11,000 athletes from 205 National Olympic Committees, including first time entrants Kosovo, South Sudan, and the Refugee Olympic Team, took part.[1][2] With 306 sets of medals, the games featured 28 Olympic sports, including rugby sevens and golf, which were added to the Olympic program in 2009. These sporting events took place at 33 venues in the host city, and at five in São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Brasília, and Manaus.

These were the first Summer Olympic Games under the International Olympic Committee (IOC) presidency of Thomas Bach.[2] The host city Rio de Janeiro was announced at the 121st IOC Session in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 2 October 2009. Rio became the first South American city to host the Summer Olympics. These were the first games to be held in a Portuguese-speaking country, the first to be held entirely in the host country's winter, the first since 1968 to be held in Latin America, and the first since 2000 to be held in the Southern Hemisphere.[3]

The lead-up to these Games was marked by controversies, including the instability of the country's federal government; health and safety concerns surrounding the Zika virus and significant pollution in the Guanabara Bay; and a doping scandal involving Russia, which has affected the participation of its athletes in the Games.

The United States topped the medal table for the fifth time in the past six Summer Olympics, winning the most golds (46) and most medals overall (121), as well as its 1,000th Olympic gold medal overall. Great Britain finished second and became the first country in the history of the modern Olympics to increase its tally of medals in the subsequent games after being the host nation. China finished third. Host country Brazil won seven gold medals, its most at any single Summer Olympics, finishing in thirteenth place. Fiji, Jordan, Kosovo, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Tajikistan, Ivory Coast and Vietnam each won their first gold medals, as did the group of Independent Olympic Athletes (from Kuwait).

Bidding process

A young girl adds her signature in support of Rio de Janeiro's candidacy.
Several people dressed in formal attire sit behind a bench. There are repeated graphics behind them.
The bid committee, led by Carlos Arthur Nuzman, giving a press conference.

The bidding process for the 2016 Olympic Games was officially launched on 16 May 2007.[4] The first step for each city was to submit an initial application to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) by 13 September 2007, confirming their intention to bid. Completed official bid files, containing answers to a 25-question IOC form, were to be submitted by each applicant city by 14 January 2008. Four candidate cities were chosen for the shortlist on 4 June 2008: Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo, which hosted the 1964 Summer Olympics and will host again in 2020. The IOC did not promote Doha to the candidature phase, despite scoring higher than selected candidate city Rio de Janeiro, because of their intent of hosting the Olympics in October, outside of the IOC's sporting calendar. Prague and Baku also failed to make the cut.[5]

Nawal El Moutawakel of Morocco headed the 10-member Evaluation Commission, having also chaired the evaluation commission for the 2012 Summer Olympics bids. The commission made on-site inspections in the second quarter of 2009. They issued a comprehensive technical appraisal for IOC members on 2 September, one month before elections.[6]

Many restrictions are in place designed to prevent bidding cities from communicating with or influencing directly the 115 voting members. Cities may not invite any IOC member to visit nor may they send anything that could be construed as a gift. Nonetheless, bidding cities invest large sums in their PR and media programs in an attempt to indirectly influence the IOC members by garnering domestic support, support from sports media and general international media.

Ultimately, you are communicating with just 115 people and each one has influencers and pressure groups but you are still speaking to no more than about 1,500 people, perhaps 5,000 in the broadest sense. It is not just about getting ads out there but it is about a targeted and very carefully planned campaign.
~ Jon Tibbs, a consultant on the Tokyo bid[7]

The final voting was held on 2 October 2009, in Copenhagen with Madrid and Rio de Janeiro perceived as favourites to land the games. Chicago and Tokyo were eliminated after the first and second rounds of voting, respectively, while Rio de Janeiro took a significant lead over Madrid heading into the final round. The lead held and Rio de Janeiro was announced as host of 2016 Summer Olympics.

2016 Summer Olympics bidding results[8]
City NOC Round 1 Round 2 Round 3
Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 26 46 66
Madrid  Spain 28 29 32
Tokyo  Japan 22 20
Chicago  United States 18

Development and preparation

On 26 June 2011, it was reported on AroundTheRings.com that Roderlei Generali, the COO of the Rio de Janeiro Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games, resigned just one year after taking the job at ROOC. This comes just five months after CCO Flávio Pestana quit for personal reasons.[9] Pestana withdrew later during the 2012 Summer Paralympics. Renato Ciuchin was then appointed as COO.[10]

Venues and infrastructure

Venues of the 2016 Summer Olympics

Events took place at eighteen existing venues, nine new venues constructed specifically for the Games, and seven temporary venues.[11]

Each event was held in one of four geographically segregated Olympic clusters: Barra, Copacabana, Deodoro, and Maracanã. The same was done for the 2007 Pan American Games.[12][13] Several of the venues were located at the Barra Cluster Olympic Park.[11] Athletes could access their venues in shorter than 10 minutes and about 75 percent could do so in less than 25 minutes. Of the 34 competition locales, eight have undergone permanent works, seven are limited, and nine are perpetual legacy venues.[14]

The largest venue at the games in terms of seating capacity was the 74,738-seat Maracanã Stadium, which served as the ceremonies venue and site of the football finals.[11] The second largest stadium was the 60,000-seat Estádio Olímpico João Havelange, which hosted track and field events.[11]

The athletes' village was said to be the largest in Olympic history. Fittings included about 80,000 chairs, 70,000 tables, 29,000 mattresses, 60,000 clothes hangers, 6,000 television sets and 10,000 smartphones.[15]

Olympic park

Main article: Barra Olympic Park

The Barra Olympic Park is a cluster of nine sporting venues in Barra da Tijuca, in the west zone of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The site of the Olympic Park was formerly occupied by the Autódromo Internacional Nelson Piquet, also known as Jacarepaguá.[16]

The nine venues within the Olympic Park are:[17][18] Carioca Arena 1: basketball (capacity: 16,000); Carioca Arena 2: wrestling, judo (capacity: 10,000); Carioca Arena 3: fencing, taekwondo (capacity: 10,000); Future Arena: handball (capacity: 12,000); Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre: diving, synchronised swimming, water polo (capacity: 5,000); Olympic Aquatics Stadium: swimming, water polo play-offs (capacity: 15,000); Olympic Tennis Centre: tennis (capacity: 10,000 Main Court); Rio Olympic Arena: gymnastics (capacity: 12,000); and Rio Olympic Velodrome: track cycling (capacity: 5,000).


As well as the Estádio Olímpico João Havelange and Maracanã and in Rio de Janeiro, football matches took place at 5 venues in the cities of São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Brasília and Manaus.

Urban renovation

Museum of Tomorrow, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.

Rio's historical downtown is undergoing a large-scale urban waterfront revitalization project called Porto Maravilha.[19] It covers 5 km2 (1.9 sq mi) in area. The project aims to redevelop the port area, increasing the city center's attractiveness and enhancing Rio's competitive position in the global economy. The urban renovation involves: 700 km (430 mi) of public networks for water supply, sanitation, drainage, electricity, gas and telecom; 4 km (2.5 mi) of tunnels; 70 km (43 mi) of roads; 650 km2 (250 sq mi) of sidewalks; 17 km (11 mi) of bike path; 15,000 trees; three sanitation treatment plants. As part of this renovation, a new tram was built from the Santos Dumont Airport to Rodoviária Novo Rio. It was due to open in April 2016.[20]

The Games required more than 200 kilometres of security fencing. A 15,000 square metre warehouse in Barra da Tijuca in western Rio was used to assemble and supply the furniture and fittings for the Olympic Village. A second warehouse of 90,000 square metres, located in Duque de Caxias near the roads that provide access to the venues, contained all the equipment needed for the sporting events.[15]


The 2016 Summer Olympics medals

The medal design was unveiled on 15 June 2016; they were produced by the Casa da Moeda do Brasil. The bronze and silver medals contained 30% recycled materials, while the gold medals were produced using gold that had been mined and extracted using means that met a series of sustainability criteria, such as being extracted without the use of mercury. The medals feature a wreath design, while the obverse, as is traditional, features Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. They were accompanied by a wooden carrying box, while medallists also received a trophy of the Games' emblem.[21][22]


Future Arena, a temporary venue whose modules will be reconstructed into schools.

As an aspect of its bid, Rio's organizing committee committed to a focus on sustainability and environmental protection as a theme of these Games, going on to dub them a "Green Games for a Blue Planet".[23] Organizers intended to, as legacy projects, introduce a wider array of public transport options, upgrade the infrastructure of the favelas to provide improved transport and access to utilities, upgrade Rio's sewer system in order to remediate the level of pollution in the Guanabara Bay.[23][24] and plant 24 million seedlings to offset the expected carbon emissions of the Games. However, some of these projects were met with delays or faced with economic shortfalls, which led some critics to believe that Rio would not be able to accomplish them.[23][25]

The focus on environmental protection also influenced the implementation of certain Olympic protocols: the Olympic cauldron was designed to be smaller than previous iterations in order to reduce emissions, and utilizes a kinetic sculpture to enhance its appearance in lieu of a larger body of flames.[26] The bronze and silver medals, as well as ribbons on all medals, incorporate recycled materials,[21][22] and athletes were not presented with flowers during medal ceremonies, as had been traditionally done at prior Olympics (although flowers were still used as part of the staging of medal presentations). Organizers considered the practice to be wasteful since they were often thrown away, and "would struggle to survive in the tropical Brazilian climate" if kept. The podiums were also designed so that their materials could be recycled to make furniture.[22][27] The Future Arena, host of handball competitions, was designed as a modular temporary venue whose components can be reconstructed to build schools.[28]

Portions of the opening ceremony were also dedicated to the issue of climate change.[29]

Torch relay

Torch relay in Brasília, with the volleyball player Fabiana Claudino

The Olympic flame was lit at the temple of Hera in Olympia on 21 April 2016, the traditional start of the Greek phase of the torch relay. On 27 April the flame was handed over to the Brazilian organizers at a ceremony at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens. A brief stop was made in Switzerland to visit the IOC headquarters and the Olympic Museum in Lausanne as well as the United Nations Office at Geneva.[30]

The torch relay began its Brazilian journey on 3 May at the capital Brasília. The torch relay visited more than 300 Brazilian cities (including all the 26 states capitals and the Brazilian Federal District), with the last part held in the city of Rio de Janeiro,[31] lighting the cauldron during the 2016 Summer Olympics opening ceremony on 5 August.


The ticket prices were announced on 16 September 2014, all of which were sold in Brazilian reais (BRL). A total of 7.5 million tickets were to be sold in total, with ticket prices ranging from BRL 40 for many events to BRL 4,600 for the most expensive seats at the opening ceremony. About 3.8 million of these tickets were available for BRL 70 or less.[32][33]

The Games

Opening ceremony

Opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games

The opening ceremony took place in the Maracanã Stadium on 5 August 2016, and was directed by Fernando Meirelles, Daniela Thomas and Andrucha Waddington.[34] The ceremony highlighted aspects of Brazilian history and culture, and featured a segment narrated by Fernanda Montenegro and Judi Dench with an appeal to environmental conservation and preventing global warming.[29][35] The ceremony also featured the inaugural presentation of the Olympic Laurel, an honour bestowed by the IOC to those that have made "significant achievements in education, culture, development and peace through sport", to Kipchoge "Kip" Keino.[36] The Games were officially opened by Acting President of Brazil Michel Temer.[37]

The Olympic cauldron was lit by Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima, the men's marathon bronze medallist at the 2004 Summer Olympics who was also awarded the Pierre de Coubertin medal for sportsmanship by the IOC after being attacked by a spectator and losing his lead. The cauldron was originally expected to be lit by Brazilian footballer Pelé, but he declined to participate due to health problems.[35][38][39] A public cauldron was lit in front of the Candelária Church by a 14-year-old participant in Rio's Vila Olimpica program—which provides access to training facilities to disadvantaged youth.[40][41]


The 2016 Summer Olympic programme featured 28 sports encompassing 306 events. The number of events in each discipline is noted in parentheses.

New sports

In April 2008, the IOC began accepting applications for two new sports to be introduced to the Olympic programme, which included baseball and softball (which were dropped in 2005), karate, squash, golf, roller sports, and rugby union all applied to be included. Formal presentations were held for the IOC executive board in June 2009.[42] In August, the executive board initially gave its approval to rugby sevens—a seven-player version of rugby union—by a majority vote, thus removing baseball, roller sports, and squash from contention. Among the remaining three—golf, karate, and softball—the board approved golf as a result of consultation. The final decision regarding the remaining two sports was made on 9 October 2009, the final day of the 121st IOC Session. A new system was in place at this session; a sport now needed only a simple majority from the full IOC committee for approval rather than the two-thirds majority previously required.[43][44]

The International Sailing Federation announced in May 2012 that windsurfing would be replaced at the 2016 Olympics by kitesurfing,[45] but this decision was reversed in November.[46] The IOC announced in January 2013 that it would review the status of cycling events, following Lance Armstrong's admission of using performance-enhancing drugs and accusations that cycling's governing body had covered up doping.[47]

Participating National Olympic Committees

2016 Summer Olympics team numbers.

All 206 National Olympic Committees have qualified at least one athlete. The first three nations to qualify athletes for the Games were Germany, Great Britain, and the Netherlands who each qualified four athletes for the team dressage by winning medals in the team event at the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games.[48]

Australian Olympic team uniforms for Rio 2016
Brazilian delegation at the opening ceremony

As host nation, Brazil has received automatic entry for some sports including in all cycling disciplines and six places for weightlifting events.[49][50] The 2016 Summer Olympics are the first games in which Kosovo and South Sudan are eligible to participate. Bulgarian and Russian weightlifters were banned from Rio Olympics for numerous anti-doping violations.[51][52]

Kuwait was banned in October 2015 for the second time in five years over government interference in the country's Olympic committee.[53]

Refugee athletes

Due to the European migrant crisis and other reasons, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) allowed athletes to compete as Independent Olympians under the Olympic Flag. In the previous Olympic Games, refugees were ineligible to compete because of their inability to represent their home NOCs.[54] On 2 March 2016, the IOC finalized plans for a specific Refugee Olympic Team (ROT); out of 43 refugee athletes deemed potentially eligible, 10 were chosen to form the team.[55]

Independent athletes

Due to the suspension of the National Olympic Committee of Kuwait, participants from Kuwait were allowed to participate under the Olympic Flag as Independent Olympic Athletes.

In November 2015, Russia was provisionally suspended from all international athletic competitions by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) following a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report into a doping program in the country.[56] The IAAF announced that it would allow individual Russian athletes to apply for "exceptional eligibility" to participate in the Games as "neutral" athletes, if it were independently verified that they had not engaged in doping nor in the Russian doping program.[57]

On 24 July 2016, the IOC rejected the IAAF and WADA's recommendations to allow clean athletes to compete neutrally, stating that the Olympic Charter "does not foresee such 'neutral athletes'" and that it was up to each country's National Olympic Committee to decide which athletes would be competing.[58]

Participating National Olympic Committees

Number of athletes by National Olympic Committees

National houses

During the Games some countries and continents had a national house. These temporary meeting places for supporters, athletes and other followers were located throughout Rio de Janeiro.[59]



This is currently based on the schedule released on the same day as ticket sales began, 31 March 2015.[60]

All dates are Brasília Time (UTC–3)
OCOpening ceremony Event competitions 1Gold medal events EGExhibition gala CCClosing ceremony
August 3
Gold medal events
Ceremonies (opening / closing) OC CC
Archery 1 1 1 1 4
Athletics 3 5 4 5 5 4 6 7 7 1 47
Badminton 1 1 2 1 5
Basketball 1 1 2
Boxing 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 4 13
Canoeing Slalom 1 1 2 16
Sprint 4 4 4
Cycling Road cycling 1 1 2 18
Track cycling 1 2 2 1 1 3
Mountain biking 1 1
Diving 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 8
Equestrian 2 1 1 1 1 6
Fencing 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 10
Field hockey 1 1 2
Football 1 1 2
Golf 1 1 2
Gymnastics Artistic 1 1 1 1 4 3 3 EG 18
Rhythmic 1 1
Trampolining 1 1
Handball 1 1 2
Judo 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 14
Modern pentathlon 1 1 2
Rowing 2 4 4 4 14
Rugby sevens 1 1 2
Sailing 2 2 2 2 2 10
Shooting 2 2 2 1 2 1 2 2 1 15
Swimming 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 1 1 34
Synchronized swimming 1 1 2
Table tennis 1 1 1 1 4
Taekwondo 2 2 2 2 8
Tennis 1 1 3 5
Triathlon 1 1 2
Volleyball Beach volleyball 1 1 4
Indoor volleyball 1 1
Water polo 1 1 2
Weightlifting 1 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 15
Wrestling 2 2 2 3 3 2 2 2 18
Total gold medal events 12 14 14 1520 19 24 21 22 1725 16 23 22 3012 306
Cumulative total 12 2640 5575 94118 139 161 178 203 219 242 264 294 306
August 3
Gold medal events


Twenty-seven world records and ninety-one Olympic records were set during the 2016 Summer Olympics. The records were set in archery, athletics, canoeing, cycling track, modern pentathlon, rowing, shooting, swimming and weightlifting.

Medal table

The medals designed for the Olympics. They were designed to be environmentally friendly from recycled materials.

The top ten listed NOCs by number of gold medals are listed below. Host nation Brazil finished in 13th place with a total of 19 medals (7 gold, 6 silver, and 6 bronze).

To sort this table by nation, total medal count, or any other column, click on the icon next to the column title.

2016 Summer Olympics medal table
 Rank  NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  United States (USA) 46 37 38 121
2  Great Britain (GBR) 27 23 17 67
3  China (CHN) 26 18 26 70
4  Russia (RUS) 19 18 19 56
5  Germany (GER) 17 10 15 42
6  Japan (JPN) 12 8 21 41
7  France (FRA) 10 18 14 42
8  South Korea (KOR) 9 3 9 21
9  Italy (ITA) 8 12 8 28
10  Australia (AUS) 8 11 10 29
11–78 Remaining NOCs 125 149 183 457
Total (87 NOCs) 307 307 360 974

* Host nation (Brazil) (Brazil is ranked at #13. See the complete medals table at 2016 Summer Olympics medal table.)

Event scheduling

The public cauldron, located outside the Candelária Church.

A number of events, most notably in aquatics, beach volleyball, and track and field, were scheduled with sessions and matches occurring as late as 22:00 to 00:00 BRT. These scheduling practices were influenced primarily by United States broadcast rightsholder NBC (due to the substantial fees NBC has paid for rights to the Olympics, the IOC has sometimes allowed NBC to have influence on event scheduling to maximize U.S. television ratings when possible), as well as the main Brazilian rightsholder Rede Globo. As Brasília time is only one hour ahead of the U.S. Eastern Time Zone, certain marquee events were scheduled so they could occur during the lucrative U.S. primetime hours (traditionally 20:00 to 23:00 ET, or 21:00 to 00:00 BRT), allowing them to be broadcast live on the U.S. east coast as opposed to being delayed. This practice was also to the benefit of domestic broadcaster Rede Globo, which elected to not preempt its widely viewed lineup of primetime telenovelas for the Games. However, Globo did preempt its telenovelas for the opening ceremony; a Brazilian television critic noted that Globo very rarely preempts its telenovelas.[61][62][63][64]

Closing ceremony

2016 Summer Olympics closing ceremony at Maracanã Stadium

The closing ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympics was held on 21 August 2016 from 20:00 to 22:50 BRT at the Maracanã Stadium.[65] As per traditional Olympic protocol, the ceremony featured cultural presentations from both the current (Brazil) and following (Japan) host countries, as well as closing remarks by International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach and the leader of the Games' organizing committee Carlos Arthur Nuzman, the official handover of the Olympic flag from Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes to Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike, whose city will host the 2020 Summer Olympics, and the extinguishing of the Olympic flame.[66]

The creative director for the ceremony was Rosa Magalhães.[67] Amid heavy rainfall, the ceremony began with interpretive dancers representing various landmarks in the host city. Martinho da Vila then performed a rendition of the classic song "Carinhoso" by Pixinguinha. In another segment, introducing the athletes, pop singer Roberta Sá channeled Carmen Miranda, the fruit-headdress-wearing, midcentury Hollywood diva who endures as a beloved camp figure. The Parade of Flags followed shortly after a choir of 27 children, representing the states of Brazil, sang the Brazilian national anthem.


The Oxford Olympics Study 2016 estimates the outturn cost of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics at USD 4.6 billion in 2015-dollars.[68] This includes sports-related costs, that is, (i) operational costs incurred by the organizing committee for the purpose of staging the Games, of which the largest components are technology, transportation, workforce, and administration costs, while other operational costs include security, catering, ceremonies, and medical services, and (ii) direct capital costs incurred by the host city and country or private investors to build the competition venues, the Olympic village, international broadcast center, and media and press center, which are required to host the Games. Indirect capital costs are not included, such as for road, rail, or airport infrastructure, or for hotel upgrades or other business investment incurred in preparation for the Games but not directly related to staging the Games. The Rio Olympics' cost of USD 4.6 billion compares with costs of USD 15 billion for London 2012 and USD 6.8 billion for Beijing 2008. Average cost for the Summer Games since 1960 is USD 5.2 billion.


International Broadcast Centre, at Barra Olympic Park

Olympic Broadcasting Services served as the host broadcaster for these Games; produced from a total of 52 mobile units, OBS distributed 40,000 hours of television footage and 60,000 hours of digital footage of the Games to its international rightsholders; for the first time in Olympic history, digital-oriented footage exceeded the amount of television-oriented footage. The International Broadcast Centre was constructed in the Barra da Tijuca cluster.[69] NHK and OBS once again filmed portions of the Games, including the opening ceremony and selected events, in 8K resolution video. Additionally, expanding upon a 180-degree trial at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympics, 85 hours of video content were originated in 360-degree virtual reality formats.[70] In the United States, NBC offered 4K content, downconverted from the 8K footage and with HDR and Dolby Atmos support, to participating television providers.[71] Owing to their expertise in domestic broadcasts of the new sports introduced in Rio, NBC and Sky New Zealand staff handled the production of the golf and rugby sevens events on behalf of OBS.[69]

In August 2009, the IOC reached a deal to sell domestic broadcast rights to the 2016 Summer Olympics to Grupo Globo. Replacing Rede Record, the deal covers free-to-air coverage on Rede Globo, pay TV, and digital rights to the Games. In turn, Globo sub-licensed partial free-to-air rights to Rede Record, along with Rede Bandeirantes. IOC board member Richard Carrión described the agreement as "unprecedented", touting that "by working with Brazil's leading media organizations, we are confident that this represents a great deal for Olympic fans in the region. There will be a huge increase in the amount of Olympic action broadcast, both during and outside Games time, and Brazilians will have more choice of how, when and where they follow their Olympic Games."[72]



Main article: Vinicius and Tom
Vinicius (left), the mascot of the 2016 Summer Olympics, and Tom (right), the mascot of the 2016 Summer Paralympics. The official emblems of the Games can be seen on the mascots' chests.

The official mascots of the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics were unveiled on 24 November 2014. They were created by Sao Paulo-based animation company Birdo.[73] The Olympic mascot Vinicius, named after musician Vinicius de Moraes, represents Brazilian wildlife and carries design traits of cats, monkeys, and birds.[73] According to their fictional backgrounds, the mascots "were both born from the joy of Brazilians after it was announced that Rio would host the Games."[74] Brand director Beth Lula stated that the mascots are intended to reflect the diversity of Brazil's culture and people.[75] The names of the mascots were determined by a public vote whose results were announced on 14 December 2014; the names, which reference the co-writers of the song "The Girl from Ipanema", won over two other sets of names, tallying 44 percent of 323,327 votes.[76] At the Olympic wrestling events, coaches were given plush dolls of Vinicius to throw into the ring when they wished to challenge a referee's call.[77]


The official emblem for the 2016 Summer Olympics was designed by the Brazilian agency Tatíl Design and unveiled on 31 December 2010, winning in a competition against 139 agencies.[78] The logo represents three figures joined at their arms and feet, with the overall shape reflecting that of Sugarloaf Mountain. The emblem was also designed to have a three-dimensional form, which designer Fred Gelli claimed made it the "first 3D logo in the history of the Olympics."[79]

The logo has been noted as evoking Henri Matisse's painting Dance. There were also allegations by the Colorado-based Telluride Foundation that the logo had been plagiarized from its own. While also consisting of several figures linked in motion, the Telluride Foundation logo contains four figures. This is not the first time that the foundation had alleged plagiarism of its logo by a Brazilian event; in 2004, the linked figures element had been copied for the logo of Carnival celebrations in Salvador. Gelli defended the allegations, stating that the concept of figures linked in embrace was not inherently original as it was "an ancient reference" and "in the collective unconscious". Gelli cited Dance as an influence of the logo's concept, and stated that the designers had intentionally aimed to make the interpretation of the concept as dissimilar to others as possible.[80]


Sponsors of the 2016 Summer Olympics
Worldwide Olympic Partners
Official Sponsors
Official Supporters
Official Suppliers

Concerns and controversies

Fort Copacabana hosted the cycling road race (start and finish), marathon swimming and triathlon events.
Marina da Glória, locale of sailing competitions

An ongoing outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in Brazil has raised fears regarding its potential impact on athletes and visitors. Organizers plan to perform daily inspections of Olympic venues to prevent puddles of stagnant water that allow mosquitoes to breed.[81] Zika virus transmission was also attributed to inefficient sewage treatment in the area, and sewage treatment was being improved in preparation for the Games.[82] In May 2016, a group of 150 physicians and scientists sent an open letter to the World Health Organization, calling upon them to, according to co-author Arthur Caplan, have "an open, transparent discussion of the risks of holding the Olympics as planned in Brazil". The WHO dismissed the request, stating that "cancelling or changing the location of the 2016 Olympics will not significantly alter the international spread of Zika virus", and that there was "no public health justification" for postponing them.[83][84][85] Some athletes did not attend the Games because of the epidemic.[86][87] On 2 September 2016, the World Health Organization reported that there were no confirmed cases of Zika among athletes or visitors during the Olympics.[88]

The Guanabara Bay, whose waters were used for sailing and windsurfing competitions, is heavily polluted. Among the chief causes of the pollution are uncollected trash fed into the bay via polluted rivers and slums along the coast. Pollution of the Guanabara has been a long-term issue. Officials promised at the Earth Summit in 1992 that they would begin to address the pollution but previous attempts to do so have been insufficient. As an aspect of their bid for the Games, Rio once again committed to making efforts towards cleaning the bay.[89][90] However, some of these proposed initiatives have faced budgetary issues.[24] Prior to these efforts, only 17% of Rio's sewage was treated;[91] this raw sewage also leaked into the bay. Although Mayor of Rio Eduardo Paes stated that the city may not be able to reach its goal of having 80% of sewage treated,[92] at least 60% of sewage was treated by March 2016, with a projected goal of 65% of sewage being treated by the time the Olympics started.[93]

In 2014, Operation Car Wash, an investigation by the Federal Police of Brazil, uncovered unprecedented money laundering and corruption at the state-controlled oil company Petrobras. In early 2015, a series of protests against alleged corruption by the government of President Dilma Rousseff began in Brazil, triggered by revelations that numerous politicians were involved in the Petrobras affair. By early 2016, the scandal had escalated into a full-blown political crisis affecting not only President Rousseff, but also former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, resulting in massive demonstrations all over the country involving millions of protesters,[94] both anti and pro-Rousseff.[95][96] At the same time, Brazil faced its worst economic recession since the 1990s, raising questions about whether the country was adequately prepared for the Games against a volatile political and economic backdrop. On 12 May, President Rousseff was stripped of her powers and duties for 180 days, after an impeachment vote in the Federal Senate, thus Vice President Michel Temer acted as acting president during the Games.[97]

F-5EM Tiger II fighter jet of the Brazilian Air Force during an air intercept training for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Since the award of the 2016 Olympics to Rio de Janeiro, the city's crime problems received more attention. Rio's mayor said that there are "big issues" facing the city in securing the Games from violence. However, he also said that such concerns and issues were presented to the IOC throughout the bidding process.[98] The governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro also highlighted the fact that London faced security problems, with a terrorist attack occurring on the day following the IOC session that chose the city to host the 2012 Olympic Games. The estimate was that 5,000 men of the National Public Security Force and 22,000 military officers (14,800 Army; 5,900 Navy and 1,300 of the Brazilian Air Force), in addition to the fixed quota of Rio January, would act during the Olympic Games.[99] On 21 July 2016, two weeks before the scheduled start of the Games, Brazilian Federal Police broke up an Islamic jihadist terrorist ring, with 10 ISIS associates arrested and two more on the run.[100]

While the whole city underwent major infrastructure improvements, there were concerns that some of the projects would never materialise.[101] On 21 April—the day that the Olympic torch was lit—a 50 metres (164 ft) section of the Tim Maia bike path, crossing the Oscar Niemeyer Avenue in São Conrado neighborhood and a part of the legacy of the games, was hit by a giant wave and collapsed, causing the death of two pedestrians and injuries to three more.[102][103] The athlete's village has been described as the largest in Olympic history, but two weeks before the Olympics opened, officials also described it as "unliveable" and unsafe because of major plumbing and electrical hazards, blocked toilets, leaking pipes, exposed wiring, darkened stairwells where no lighting has been installed, and dirty floors. More than 500 employees of the local Olympic committee worked to fix the problems reported by the delegations.[104]

In November 2015, Russia's track and field team was provisionally suspended from all international athletic competitions by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) following a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report into a doping program in the country.[56] On 18 July 2016, an independent investigation commissioned by WADA reported that Russia's Ministry of Sport and Federal Security Service had operated a "state-dictated" system to implement an extensive doping program and to cover up positive samples. Based on the finding the International Olympic Committee called for an emergency meeting to consider banning Russia from the Summer Olympics.[105] The IOC decided against completely banning Russian participation and instead decided to set additional, stricter requirements for all Russian participants entered into the Olympic Games.[106] Originally Russia submitted a list of 389 athletes for competition. On 7 August 2016, the IOC cleared 278 athletes, while 111 were removed because of the scandal.[107][108]

See also



  1. The Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation is [ˈʒɔɡuz oˈlĩpikus dʒi veˈɾɐ̃w dʒi ˈdojz ˈmiw i dʒizeˈsejs], in Brazil's standard pronunciation.


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External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to 2016 Summer Olympics.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for 2016 Summer Olympics.
Preceded by
Summer Olympic Games
Rio de Janeiro

XXXI Olympiad (2016)
Succeeded by
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