The 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics are looming and Leisure DB can’t help getting excited…only 206 days to go! On August 5th 2016 the flame will be lit and the games will begin. Two weeks of exhilarating sport and phenomenal achievements is exactly what we love and we will be proudly backing Team GB. Thus far, a total of 18 Team GB athletes have been confirmed for the Olympic Games, including 4 athletes for the canoe slalom, 8 for sailing and 6 for shooting and we can’t wait to hear who else will be announced.
International Olympic Committee President, Thomas Bach, provided a positive New Year message to welcome in 2016: “In August, the world will come together in Rio de Janerio, for the very first Olympic Games in South America. I am confident that Brazil will enthusiastically welcome the world with their joy of life and their passion for sport…I wish everyone a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Olympic Year 2016”.
As is tradition, the Olympic torch has been designed and its relay course has been mapped. The Rio 2016 Olympic Torch is one of a kind and it certainly reflects the colourful flavour of Brazil. Unlike any torch before it, this year’s has opening segments which each reveal a new element of Brazil as the flame is passed over. Starting from the top, the bright gold piece of the torch reflects the sun and the ultimate achievement possible at the Games. Next the torch mirrors the mountains with green, then blue for the sea and the ground represented by the colours of the Copacabana promenade, the most famous piece of ground in Rio. The torch will make its way across the whole of Brazil during the Olympic Torch Relay spectacle, starting in the capital city Brasilia on May 3rd. It will visit every state of Brazil over a 95 day tour covering a total of 20,000km by road and 16,000km by air and be held by 12,000 torchbearers. Remarkably, the relay aims to reach an estimated 90% of Brazil’s population.
The construction of the new Olympic Parks in Barra and Deodoro have been confirmed by the Rio City Government as 95% complete. Test events have been staged at the venues which has allowed Games organisers, athletes and the public to see what it’ll be like come August. Additionally, the new Olympic Golf Course and Paralympic & Olympic village set in the Barra region are in the final stages of completion. Only the Velodrome and Youth Arena are set slightly behind at 75% completed.
The London 2012 games were incredibly memorable and Rio has a lot to live up to, particularly for the Paralympics. Following its previous success, it’s vital that support continues to peak this year. Paralympics GB have launched their new campaign Supercharge which aims to once again “inspire the nation, challenge perceptions and help create a better world for disabled people” with the aid of the British public. Competition will be tougher than ever this year for our Paralympians and any funds raised will help to prepare the team on the Road to Rio and set the way for future success.
David Minton, director of Leisure DB, can’t help but recognise that after the 4 years of legacy, Team GB will probably not make history in Rio. Infostrada Sports’ Virtual Medal Table predicts that Team GB will bring home 48 medals including 10 golds compared to their 2012 result of 65 and 29. However, there is still ample chance of the forecast changing in the lead up to the Games and we can’t wait to see the actual outcome.
Bring on the Games and good luck to everyone involved!
By Abi Taylor, Sports Researcher