Rio Olympics 2016: All you need to know about the mega event

Two hundred and six nations, involving over 10,000 athletes, will be participating in the mega sporting event, the Olympics Games, scheduled to start from August 5 in Rio de Janeiro.  

The Maracana stadium in Rio will be witnessing the opening ceremony of the event, scheduled at 20:00 local time (04:30 am IST). As per media reports, the ceremony will last over three hours, which will give out an honest image of the nation. Nearly 3,000 people are said to have seen the rehearsal of the same. 

Business Standard tells you key things to know about the mega event. 

Numbers Speak

The 2016 Summer Olympics is set to witness 42 sporting disciplines, with around 306 events, spread over 37 venues. About 205 nations are said to be participating in the games. 

Where will the events take place?

Four areas will host the events. Copacabana will host beach volleyball, Barra is the home to the Olympic Park, Deodoro will witness acquatics, BMX and equestrian centers and Maracana has two large stadiums.

When do events begin?

While women’s 10-m air rifle event will begin immediately after the opening ceremony, some events have already begun. Women’s football commenced on Wednesday; men’s football will be played today. 

A case of firsts

- It will be the first time in the history of the games that a South American nation will be hosting it. Rio won the bid in 2009, after edging past bidders like Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo.

- The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had in June announced a 10-member squad consisting of refugees. 

These sportspersons, who have been displaced due to war and strife in their origin nations, will compete under the Olympic flag and the Olympic anthem will be played in their honour.  

- Five runners from South Sudan, two swimmers from Syria, two judokas from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and a marathon runner from Ethiopia will be a part of the squad.

- Rugby Sevens is set to make its debut in the Games as well. The seven-member team sport will last for fifteen minutes. According to reports, US men’s and women’s team are favourites. 

A century-old saga

Golf will be making a comeback to the Games after 112 years. It was last played in the 1904 Games. US-based golf course architect is said to have made the 18 holes for the event. 

Technological advancement

The Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) will be, for the first time, using virtual reality in its broadcasts. 

High-definition images of opening and closing ceremonies will be broadcasted with VR technology, along with one event per day. 

Other innovations like lap counters in swimming events, video reviews will also be a part of technological adoption during the games. You can see the whole list of new technologies here [insert link of Rio 2016 website]. 

Transport infrastructure

The local authorities have just opened a new train line that can be used by Olympians travelling to the ceremony. 

Controversies

- The country is witnessing protests from citizens for the amount of money spent on the event. 

- Security is also an issue for people travelling to the nation. There are advisories put out locally, asking people to be safe while travelling and ‘not to carry their wallets’. 

- The threat of Zika virus also looms over the games. 

Contingents

China is sending the largest contingent in the Games. Usually, it faces stiff rivalry from the United States. This time, however, the Asian nation is sending 416 athletes to the Games.

The Indian connection

- India is sending its biggest contingent ever, comprising 111 athletes.

- It is also the first time that five ex-medalists at previous Olympic Games will be a part of the current contingent.