Monday, August 1st, 2016


  • The official dates of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad are Friday, August 5 to Sunday, August 21, 2016. The Games will last 17 days, including one day for the Opening Ceremony, and span three weekends. (There are an additional two days of soccer preliminaries prior to the Opening Ceremony).
  • Rio de Janeiro is the first city in South America to host the Olympic Games.
  • Rio was awarded the Games on October 2, 2009, when IOC members voted in Copenhagen. It beat out Chicago, Tokyo and Madrid.
  • The Games of the XXXI Olympiad have been organized by the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee. The organization’s President is Carlos Arthur Nuzman and its Chief Executive is Sidney Levy.
  • Olympic competition in Rio will be spread over four main zones: Barra, Copacabana, Deodoro and Maracana.
  • Five soccer arenas outside of Rio will host additional matches.
  • Five sports – cycling, fencing, gymnastics, swimming, and track & field – have appeared in every modern Olympics.
  • The Rio Olympics will welcome approximately 10,500 athletes from 206 countries.
  • There will be 306 official events on the 2016 Olympic program, 263 more than were on the 1896 program 116 years ago and four more than the 2012 program.
  • Golf and rugby were added to the 2016 Olympic program. Golf was last contested at the St. Louis Games in 1904; rugby’s last appearance was at the Paris Games in 1924, but rugby Sevens, a faster game with fewer players on the field, will make its Olympic debut in Rio.
  • Brazil has competed in 30 modern Olympic Games in 38 sports.
  • Brazil won 17 medals in 2012 (three gold, five silver and nine bronze), ranking 16th among medal leaders.
  • There will be approximately 7.5 million ticketholders at the Rio Games.
  • There were over 240,000 applicants to volunteer positions at the Games, who will specialize across nine areas of expertise including languages, technology and health services.
  • 34 Olympic test events, six Paralympic test events and four test events for both have been held in Rio’s Olympic venues, including Olympic qualifiers and world league finals.
  • The Olympic torch was lit on April 21, 2016. It traveled through the Eleonas refugee camp in Athens, Greece,where Ibrahim al-Hussein, a Syrian swimmer who lost part of his leg in a bombing, was chosen to carry the torch. The torch was set to pass through every Brazilian state and the federal district.
  • Refugee athletes who have fled their countries will be allowed to compete under the Olympic flag for the first time.
  • Rio taxi drivers, known as “taxistas,” can sign up for free online English classes funded by the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee.