Monday, August 1st, 2016


The bulk of Olympic competition will be spread between four zones in Rio de Janeiro: Barra, Copacabana, Deodoro, and Maracana. Brazil’s staging of the 2007 Pan American Games and 2014 World Cup allowed it to reuse some of the existing venues for the Olympics. Others, such as the Rio Olympic Velodrome and the golf course in Barra, were designed to foster continued interest and development of sports in Rio after the conclusion of the Games.

Venues in Rio

The neighborhood of Barra da Tijuca in the western part of Rio will host the most competitions during the Games. Ensconced between mountains and lagoons and boasting one of the city’s most popular beaches, the zone will be home to Barra Olympic Park, Riocentro, the Pontal venue and new Olympic Golf Course. It will also house the Olympic Village, IBC and MPC.

Within Olympic Park, located in Barra, are Carioca Arenas 1, 2, and 3. Carioca Arena 1 will host preliminary rounds of men’s basketball as well as the quarterfinals, semifinals and medal matches for both men and women.

Carioca Arena 2 will host judo and wrestling. Fencing and taekwondo will take place in Carioca Arena 3. The three arenas will become part of the Olympic Training Center after the Games, a space for high-performance athletes to train. Other Olympic Park venues are Future Arena, for handball; the Maria Lenk Aquatic Centre, which was built for the 2007 Pan American Games and will host diving, synchronized swimming and some of the preliminary rounds in water polo; the Olympic Aquatics Stadium, for swimming and water polo; the Olympic Tennis Centre for tennis; Rio Olympic Velodrome for track cycling and Rio Olympic Arena, for all three gymnastics disciplines. Other Barra zone venues include Riocentro, which has four pavilions for weightlifting, table tennis, badminton and boxing; the Olympic Golf Course, which will serve as a public course after the Games, and Pontal, the site for the start and finish of road cycling’s time-trial events and the race walk.

Rio’s well-known Copacabana neighborhood is the base for the Beach Volleyball Arena on Copacabana beach, the iconic home of the sport in Brazil; Fort Copacabana for open water swimming, triathlon and the start and finish for the road race in cycling; Lagoa Stadium for rowing and flatwater canoeing and scenic Marina da Gloria for sailing. With views of Sugarloaf Mountain, Tijuca National Forest and Christ the Redeemer, Copacabana will be one of the Games’ most aesthetically pleasing clusters of venues.

Deodoro Olympic Park will serve as the second largest area of competition venues. Several of the venues in the zone were constructed for the 2007 Pan American Games, including the Olympic Equestrian Centre, which will host all equestrian disciplines and the Olympic Shooting Centre for shooting. Other venues in Deodoro include the Deodoro Aquatics Centre for the swimming section of modern pentathlon; Deodoro Stadium for rugby and the riding and combined events in modern pentathlon; the Olympic Hockey Centre for hockey and Youth Arena, which will host the fencing event in modern pentathlon as well as several preliminary basketball games. Deodoro’s X-Park will house the Mountain Bike Centre, the Olympic BMX Centre and the Whitewater Stadium for whitewater canoeing.

The Maracana zone near city center in northern Rio houses two famous landmarks: hallowed Maracana, the stadium which will host the Opening and Closing Ceremonies as well as soccer’s gold medal matches, and the Sambodromo, home of the samba school parades during Carnival, which will be used for archery and the marathon start and finish. Known as the “temple of football,” Maracana stadium was originally built for the 1950 World Cup and hosted seven matches during the 2014 World Cup. The seating capacity of the Sambodromo, one of Rio’s most defining symbols, was increased to accommodate more spectators for the Games, still keeping with the symmetrical design of architect Oscar Niemeyer. Other venues are Maracanazinho (“little Maracana”), for volleyball, and the Olympic Stadium, for group-phase soccer matches and track and field.

Venues in Brazil

Both of soccer’s gold medal matches will be played at Maracana in Rio, with several earlier matches staged at the nearby Olympic Stadium. Five other Brazilian cities will host additional games.

Amazonia Arena in Manaus, built for the 2014 World Cup, will host preliminary matches. Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo, which hosted the opening match of the 2014 World Cup, will host preliminary matches, quarterfinals, men’s semifinals and the women’s bronze medal match. Mineirao in Belo Horizonte will host preliminary matches, quarterfinals, women’s semifinals and the men’s bronze medal match. Brasilia’s Mane Garrincha Stadium, built in 1974 and renovated for the World Cup, will host preliminary matches and quarterfinals.