2016 Summer Olympics

Last updated

Games of the XXXI Olympiad
2016 Summer Olympics logo.svg
Host city Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
MottoA new world
(Portuguese: Um mundo novo)
Athletes11,238 [1]
Events306 in 28 sports (41 disciplines)
Opening 5 August
Closing 21 August
Opened by
Stadium Maracanã
London 2012 Tokyo 2020
Sochi 2014 PyeongChang 2018

The 2016 Summer Olympics (Portuguese : Jogos Olímpicos de Verão de 2016), [lower-alpha 1] officially known as the Games of the XXXI Olympiad (Portuguese : Jogos da XXXI Olimpíada) and commonly known as Rio 2016, was an international multi-sport event that was held from 5 to 21 August 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with preliminary events in some sports beginning on 3 August. Rio was announced as the host city at the 121st IOC Session in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 2 October 2009.


More than 11,000 athletes from 205 National Olympic Committees took part, including first-time entrants Kosovo, South Sudan, and the Refugee Olympic Team. [2] [3] 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 separate venues in the Brazilian cities of São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Brasília, and Manaus.

These were the first Olympic Games ever to be held in South America. They were also the first to be held in a Portuguese-speaking country, the first summer edition to be held entirely in the host country's winter season, the first since 1968 to be held in Latin America, and the first since 2000 to be held in the Southern Hemisphere. [4] These were the first Summer Olympics to take place under the International Olympic Committee (IOC) presidency of Thomas Bach. [3]

The United States topped the medal table, winning the most gold medals (46) and the highest number of medals overall (121); the US team also won its 1,000th Summer Olympic gold medal overall. Great Britain finished second and became only the second country in modern Olympic history to increase its tally of medals in the Olympiad immediately after being host nation. China finished third in the medal table. Host nation Brazil won seven gold medals, its largest tally at any single Summer Olympics, finishing in thirteenth place. Bahrain, Fiji, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kosovo, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Tajikistan, 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. Cidade Candidata (Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympic Games).JPG
A young girl adds her signature in support of Rio de Janeiro's candidacy.
The bid committee, led by Carlos Arthur Nuzman, giving a press conference. Rio de Janeiro 2016 press conference.jpg
The bid committee, led by Carlos Arthur Nuzman, giving a press conference.

The process for the 2016 Summer Olympics was officially launched on 16 May 2007. [5] The first step for each city was to submit an initial application to the International Olympic Committee 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 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. [6]

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. [7]

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 [8]

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 [9]
CityNOCRound 1Round 2Round 3
Rio de Janeiro Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 264666
Madrid Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 282932
Tokyo Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 2220
Chicago Flag of the United States.svg  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. [10] Pestana withdrew later during the 2012 Summer Paralympics. Renato Ciuchin was then appointed as COO. [11]

Venues and infrastructure

Venues of the 2016 Summer Olympics Rio de Janeiro bid venues for the 2016 Summer Olympics.svg
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. [12]

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. [13] [14] Several of the venues were located at the Barra Cluster Olympic Park. [12] Nearly half of the athletes could reach their venues in less than 10 minutes, and almost 75 per cent could do so in less than 25 minutes. Of the 34 competition venues, eight underwent some permanent works, seven were totally temporary and nine were constructed as permanent legacy venues. [15]

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. [12] The second largest stadium was the 60,000-seat Estádio Olímpico João Havelange, which hosted track and field events. [12]

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. [16]

Olympic park

Barra Olympic Park Parque Olimpico Rio 2016 (2).jpg
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. [17]

The nine venues within the Olympic Park were: [18] [19]


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

Urban renovation

Maua Square, with the Museum of Tomorrow, designed by Santiago Calatrava, and the light rail VLT Rio 09 2016 3355.jpg
Mauá Square, with the Museum of Tomorrow, designed by Santiago Calatrava, and the light rail

Rio's historical downtown underwent an urban waterfront revitalization project called Porto Maravilha . It covers 5 km2 (1.9 sq mi) in area. The project aimed to redevelop the port area, increasing the city center's attractiveness and enhancing Rio's competitive position in the global economy. [20]

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. [21]

The Games required more than 200 kilometers of security fencing. A 15,000 square meter 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 meters, located in Duque de Caxias near the roads that provide access to the venues, contained all the equipment needed for the sporting events. [16]


Medals of the 2016 Summer Olympics Medalhas Rio 2016 (2).jpg
Medals of the 2016 Summer Olympics

The medals were produced by the Casa da Moeda do Brasil (the Brazilian mint). The medal design was unveiled on 15 June 2016. They were designed to be environmentally friendly using recycled materials; the bronze and silver medals contained 30% recycled materials, while the gold medals were produced using gold that had been mined and extracted according to a set of sustainability criteria, such as being extracted without the use of mercury. The medals feature a wreath design on the front, and in keeping with tradition the obverse features Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. Each medal was accompanied by a wooden carrying box. Medalists were also awarded a trophy in the shape of the Games' emblem. [22] [23]

In May 2017, an Associated Press article disclosed that more than 100 athletes who had won medals at the Rio Olympics reported that their medals were showing some damage, including black spots, flaking, or surface degrading. Rio officials offered to replace any defective medals and found problems with 6 to 7 percent of all those awarded. [24]

Torch relay

Torch relay in Sao Paulo, with the basketball player Anderson Varejao Passagem da Tocha Olimpica em SP (28605511640).jpg
Torch relay in São Paulo, with the basketball player Anderson Varejão
Volunteers working at the Olympic Stadium during the games. Rio 2016 - Voluntarios organizando barreiras (29066118645).jpg
Volunteers working at the Olympic Stadium during the games.

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 organisers 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. [25]

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, [26] lighting the cauldron during the 2016 Summer Olympics opening ceremony on 5 August.


Unpaid volunteers performed a variety of tasks before and during the Games. A target of 50,000 volunteers was set as early as 2012. When recruitment took place in 2014, over 240,000 applications were received. The volunteers wore clothing which included yellow polo shirts and jackets, beige trousers, white socks and green trainers which they collected from the Uniform Distribution and Accreditation Centre. But many volunteers have stopped to due long working hours and one free meal a day. [27] Volunteers also wore photo accreditation badges which were also worn by officials, athletes, family members and media which gain them access to specific venues and buildings around the site. [28]


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. [29] [30]


As an aspect of its bid, Rio's organizing committee planned to focus on sustainability and environmental protection as a theme of these Games, going on to dub them a "Green Games for a Blue Planet". [31] As legacy projects, organisers intended to 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. [31] [32] 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. [31] [33]

Future Arena, a temporary venue designed to be reconstructed into schools. Arena do Futuro Rio 2016.jpg
Future Arena, a temporary venue designed to be reconstructed into schools.

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 used a kinetic sculpture to enhance its appearance in lieu of a larger body of flames. [34] The bronze and silver medals, as well as ribbons on all medals, incorporate recycled materials. [22] [23]

The 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). Organisers 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. [23] [35]

The Future Arena, host of handball competitions, was designed as a modular temporary venue whose components can be reconstructed to build schools. [36] However, as of November 2017, the arena is still standing because of lack of money to dismantle it and no allocation of funds to do so in the 2018 budget. [37]

Portions of the opening ceremony were also dedicated to the issue of climate change. [38]

The Games

Opening ceremony

A scene from the opening ceremony. 2016 Summer Olympics opening ceremony 1035301-05082016- v9a2048 04.08.16.jpg
A scene from the opening ceremony.

The opening ceremony took place at Maracana Stadium on 5 August 2016, and was directed by Fernando Meirelles, Daniela Thomas and Andrucha Waddington. [39] 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. [38] [40]

The ceremony also featured the inaugural presentation of the Olympic Laurel, an honor bestowed by the IOC to those that have made "significant achievements in education, culture, development and peace through sport", to Kipchoge "Kip" Keino. [41] The Games were officially opened by Acting President of Brazil Michel Temer. [42]

The Olympic cauldron was lit by Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima, the men's marathon bronze medalist 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. [40] [43] [44]

Following the opening ceremony, a public cauldron was lit in front of the Candelária Church by Jorge Gomes, a 14-year-old Brazilian athlete who had escaped from poverty to train as a runner. [45] [46]


Youth Arena Rio2016 julho ZonaB Deodoro 009 8214 -c-2016 GabrielHeusi HeusiAction.jpg
Youth Arena
Deodoro Stadium Rio2016 julho ZonaB Deodoro 014 2480 -c-2016 GabrielHeusi HeusiAction(1).jpg
Deodoro Stadium
Olympic BMX Centre Visao da arquibancada da pista olimpica BMX1.jpg
Olympic BMX Centre
Olympic Golf Course Golfe Rio 2016.jpg
Olympic Golf Course

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

2016 Summer Olympic Sports Programme

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. [47]

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; leaving golf, karate, and rugby sevens. A final vote was held 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. [48] [49]

The International Sailing Federation announced in May 2012 that windsurfing would be replaced at the 2016 Olympics by kitesurfing, [50] but this decision was reversed in November. [51]

The 121st IOC Session decided to add Rugby Sevens and Golf to the Rio 2016 program. [52] The tally for rugby was 81 in favor, with 8 against, [53] and golf was approved 63–26. [54] Neither sport is new to the Olympics—rugby was last featured at the Olympics in 1924, and golf in 1904.

Participating National Olympic Committees

Rio 2016 Olympic Village Rio2016 julho VilaAtletas Barra 002 2659 -c-2016 GabrielHeusi HeusiAction.jpg
Rio 2016 Olympic Village

All 206 National Olympic Committees qualified at least one athlete.[ citation needed ] 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. [55]

As host nation, Brazil has received automatic entry for some sports including in all cycling disciplines and six places for weightlifting events. [56] [57]

The 2016 Summer Olympics were the first games in which Kosovo and South Sudan were eligible to participate. Bulgarian and Russian weightlifters were banned from Rio Olympics for numerous anti-doping violations. [58] [59]

Kuwait was banned in October 2015 for the second time in five years over government interference in the country's Olympic committee. [60]

Team numbers 2016 Summer Olympics team numbers.svg
Team numbers
Participating countries
Blue = Participated for the first time in 2016.
Green = Had previously participated.
Yellow circle is host city (Rio de Janeiro) 2016 Summer Olympic games countries.svg
Participating countries
Blue = Participated for the first time in 2016.
Green = Had previously participated.
Yellow circle is host city (Rio de Janeiro)
Participating National Olympic Committees

Number of athletes by National Olympic Committee

Refugee athletes

Refugee Olympic team arriving in Rio de Janeiro Rio 2016 Refugees 1033413-29072016- dsc1069.jpg
Refugee Olympic team arriving in Rio de Janeiro

Due to the European migrant crisis and other reasons, the IOC allowed athletes to compete as Independent Olympians under the Olympic Flag. In the previous Summer Olympic Games, refugees were ineligible to compete because of their inability to represent their home NOCs. [61] 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. [62]

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 track and field 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. [63] 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. [64]

On 24 July 2016, the IOC rejected the IAAF and WADA's recommendations to allow 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. [65] As a result, Russian athletes competed under the Russian flag, although they would compete under a neutral flag in the 2018 Winter Olympics following several developments with regard to the doping investigation.

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. [66]

Source [66]


This is currently based on the schedule released on the same day as ticket sales began, 31 March 2015. [67]

All dates are Brasília Time (UTC–3)
OCOpening ceremonyEvent competitions1Gold medal eventsEGExhibition galaCCClosing ceremony
Olympic Rings Icon.svg CeremoniesOCCCN/A
Aquatics Diving pictogram.svg Diving 1111111146
Swimming pictogram.svg Swimming 4444444411
Synchronized swimming pictogram.svg Artistic swimming 11
Water polo pictogram.svg Water polo 11
Archery pictogram.svg Archery 11114
Athletics pictogram.svg Athletics 354554677147
Badminton pictogram.svg Badminton 11215
Basketball pictogram.svg Basketball 112
Boxing pictogram.svg Boxing 1111113413
Canoeing Canoeing (slalom) pictogram.svg Slalom11216
Canoeing (flatwater) pictogram.svg Sprint444
Cycling Cycling (road) pictogram.svg Road cycling11218
Cycling (track) pictogram.svg Track cycling122113
Cycling (BMX) pictogram.svg BMX2
Cycling (mountain biking) pictogram.svg Mountain biking11
Equestrian Vaulting pictogram.svg Equestrian 211116
Fencing pictogram.svg Fencing 11112111110
Field hockey pictogram.svg Field hockey 112
Football pictogram.svg Football 112
Golf pictogram.svg Golf 112
Gymnastics Gymnastics (artistic) pictogram.svg Artistic1111433EG18
Gymnastics (rhythmic) pictogram.svg Rhythmic11
Gymnastics (trampoline) pictogram.svg Trampolining11
Handball pictogram.svg Handball 112
Judo pictogram.svg Judo 222222214
Modern pentathlon pictogram.svg Modern pentathlon 112
Rowing pictogram.svg Rowing 244414
Rugby Sevens pictogram.svg Rugby sevens 112
Sailing pictogram.svg Sailing 2222210
Shooting pictogram.svg Shooting 22212122115
Table tennis pictogram.svg Table tennis 11114
Taekwondo pictogram.svg Taekwondo 22228
Tennis pictogram.svg Tennis 1135
Triathlon pictogram.svg Triathlon 112
Volleyball Volleyball (beach) pictogram.svg Beach volleyball114
Volleyball (indoor) pictogram.svg Indoor volleyball11
Weightlifting pictogram.svg Weightlifting 122222111115
Wrestling pictogram.svg Wrestling 2223322218
Daily medal events12141415201924212217251623223012306
Cumulative total122640557594118139161178203219242264294306


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 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).

  *   Host nation (Brazil)

2016 Summer Olympics medal table
1Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA)463738121
2Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain  (GBR)27231767
3Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China  (CHN)26182670
4Flag of Russia.svg  Russia  (RUS)19172056
5Flag of Germany.svg  Germany  (GER)17101542
6Flag of Japan.svg  Japan  (JPN)1282141
7Flag of France.svg  France  (FRA)10181442
8Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea  (KOR)93921
9Flag of Italy.svg  Italy  (ITA)812828
10Flag of Australia.svg  Australia  (AUS)8111029
11–86 Remaining NOCs 125150181456
Totals (86 NOCs)307307359973

Podium sweeps

17 August Athletics Women's 100 meters hurdles Flag of the United States.svg  United States Brianna Rollins Nia Ali Kristi Castlin

Event scheduling

The public cauldron, located outside the Candelaria Church. Candelaria cauldron at 2016 Summer Olympics.jpg
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 10:00 p.m. to midnight BRT. These scheduling practices were influenced primarily by United States broadcast rightsholder NBC – NBC's substantial rights fees are one of the major sources of revenue for the IOC, therefore it has allowed the network to have influence on event scheduling to maximize U.S. television ratings when possible (NBC agreed to a US$7.75 billion contract extension on May 7, 2014, to air the Olympics through 2032, including US$1.23 billion for Rio 2016) [68] [69] 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 to occur during U.S. primetime hours (traditionally 8:00 to 11:00 p.m. ET, 9:00 p.m. to midnight BRT) allowing them to be broadcast live on the east coast as opposed to being delayed. This practice was also to the benefit of Globo: a Brazilian critic noted that the network very rarely pre-empts its primetime telenovelas, as they are among the highest-rated programs in the country. [70] [71] [72] [73]

Closing ceremony

2016 Summer Olympics closing ceremony at Maracana Stadium Terminam os Jogos Olimpicos Rio 2016 (29040726262).jpg
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. [74] 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 IOC president Thomas Bach, who declared the Games closed, 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. [75]

The creative director for the ceremony was Rosa Magalhães. [76] 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  [ pt ]" 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.


Deodoro Olympic Whitewater Stadium Centro Olimpico de Deodoro.jpg
Deodoro Olympic Whitewater Stadium

The Oxford Olympics Study 2016 estimated the out-turn cost of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics at US$4.6 billion in 2015-dollars. This figure included 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 were technology, transportation, workforce, and administration costs, while other operational costs included 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 were required to host the Games. [77]

Indirect capital costs were 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 US$4.6 billion compares with costs of US$40–44 billion for Beijing 2008 and US$51 billion for Sochi 2014, the two most expensive Olympics in history. The average cost of the Summer Games since 1960 is US$5.2 billion. [77]


International Broadcast Centre, at Barra Olympic Park Centro de Midia Rio 2016.jpg
International Broadcast Centre, at Barra Olympic Park

Olympic Broadcasting Services served as the host broadcaster for these Games; produced from a total of seven 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. [78] 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. [79] In the United States, NBC offered 4K content, downconverted from the 8K footage and with HDR and Dolby Atmos support, to participating television providers. [80] 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. [78]

In August 2009, the IOC reached a deal to sell domestic broadcast rights to the 2016 Summer Olympics to Grupo Globo. Replacing Record TV 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." [81]

Olympic Golden Rings Awards

Olympic rings displayed in Rio de Janeiro. Rio 2016 (28430991164).jpg
Olympic rings displayed in Rio de Janeiro.

Following the conclusion of the games the International Olympic Committee in November 2017 announced the winners of the Golden rings in six categories for the best broadcast coverage of the games. The Best Olympic Sports Production was awarded to Beach Volleyball. It was produced by Geoff Johnson. and directed by Greg Breakell and Gary Milkis. The production for the cycling road race and Sailing came second and third. The next category was best Olympic feature. TV Globo's feature entitle "Esporte Espetacular" finished third and China Central Television's feature - A Sequel of Love came second. The winner was NBC Olympics for their feature titled The Most Beautiful Thing. The third category was The Best Athlete Profile. RTBF Radio Télévision de la Communauté Française de Belgique for their profile of Nafi Thiam collected the third place prize. TV Globo went one better than the previous category coming second with their profile of Izaquias Queiroz. The winner of the category again was NBC this time for their piece on Wayde van Niekerk. The Best On-Air Promotion was announced next with the BBC Sport winning with NBC this time coming second and Bulgarian National Television finished third. The Best Olympic Digital Service went to NBC with ZDF-German TV and SporTV/Globosat picking up the second and third places. The Best Olympic Programme was awarded to SporTV/Globosat while TV Globo and BBC Sport completed the podium. [82]



Vinicius (left), the mascot of the Rio 2016, and Tom (right), the mascot of the 2016 Summer Paralympics Vinicius and Tom.svg
Vinicius (left), the mascot of the Rio 2016, and Tom (right), the mascot of the 2016 Summer Paralympics

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. [83] The Olympic mascot Vinicius, named after musician Vinicius de Moraes, represents Brazilian wildlife and carries design traits of cats, monkeys, and birds. [83] 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." [84]

Brand director Beth Lula stated that the mascots were intended to reflect the diversity of Brazil's culture and people. [85] 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. [86] 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. [87]


Sculpture of the logo of the Rio 2016 in Barra Olympic Park Parque Olimpico Rio 2016 (28370259403).jpg
Sculpture of the logo of the Rio 2016 in Barra Olympic Park

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. [88] 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." [89]

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. [90]

Concerns and controversies

The lead-up to these Games was marked by controversies, including Brazil's political and economic crisis; the Zika virus epidemic and the significant pollution in the Guanabara Bay; and a doping scandal involving Russia, which affected the participation of its athletes in the Games. However, nobody competing in or attending the Olympics contracted the Zika virus [91] and the Games took place normally, without any major incident. [92] [93] [94]

Political and economic crisis

Suspended president Dilma Rousseff during an interview with Al Jazeera at the Alvorada Palace, 1 June 2016. 01062016- 89A3476-Editar (27244602030).jpg
Suspended president Dilma Rousseff during an interview with Al Jazeera at the Alvorada Palace, 1 June 2016.

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, [95] both anti and pro-Rousseff. [96] [97] 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. [98]

On 5 October 2017, the head of the Brazilian Olympic Committee Carlos Nuzman, was arrested amid an money laundering investigation that a $2 million payment was made to secure votes for the bid to bring the Olympics to Rio. The money was allegedly paid to Lamine Diack and his son Papa Massata who was a member of the IOC at the time of the alleged payment which was three days before the vote in 2009. All three were charged with money laundering along with the former governor of Rio state Sergio Cabral, who was already in prison for money laundering offences at the time, Brazilian businessman Arthur Soares and ex Brazilian Olympic Committee chief Leonardo Gryner. All six were charged with running a criminal organization, money laundering and violating currency laws in their own native countries. [99] On 4 July 2019 it was reported that Cabral told a judge the money went to Diack, the former president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and was used to buy as many as nine votes. [100] The Mayor of Rio, Eduardo Paes, was also accused of corruption and fraud in relation to the construction of a number of venues for the games. [101] [102]

Zika virus

Agent for endemic diseases of the city of Votuporanga, Sao Paulo Dengue Votuporanga.jpg
Agent for endemic diseases of the city of Votuporanga, São Paulo

An outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in Brazil raised fears regarding its potential impact on athletes and visitors. To prevent puddles of stagnant water that allow mosquitoes to breed, organisers announced plans to perform daily inspections of Olympic venues. [103] Zika virus transmission was also attributed to inefficient sewage treatment in the area—an issue that was also in the process of being addressed for the Games. [104]

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. [105] [106] [107]

Some athletes did not attend the Games because of the epidemic. [108] [109] On 2 September 2016, however, the World Health Organization reported that there were no confirmed cases of Zika among athletes or visitors during the Olympics. [110]

Environmental problems

Fort Copacabana hosted the cycling road race (start and finish), marathon swimming and triathlon events. Forte de Copacabana panorama.jpg
Fort Copacabana hosted the cycling road race (start and finish), marathon swimming and triathlon events.

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. [111] [112] However, some of these proposed initiatives have faced budgetary issues. [32] Prior to these efforts, only 17% of Rio's sewage was treated; [113] 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, [114] 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. [115]


F-5EM Tiger II fighter jet of the Brazilian Air Force during an air intercept training for the Rio 2016. Forca Aerea Brasileira (FAB) faz treinamento de interceptacao aerea para os Jogos Olimpicos de 2016.jpg
F-5EM Tiger II fighter jet of the Brazilian Air Force during an air intercept training for the Rio 2016.

Rio's crime problems also received renewed attention after it was awarded the Games; Mayor Paes stated that the city was facing "big issues" in heightening security, but that such concerns and issues were presented to the IOC throughout the bidding process. [116]

The governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro also highlighted the fact that London faced security problems, with a terrorist attack occurring just one day after it was awarded the 2012 Summer Olympics. 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. [117]

On 21 July 2016, two weeks before the scheduled start of the Games, the Brazilian Federal Police broke up an Islamic jihadist terrorist ring by arresting 12 people. [118]

Russian doping scandal

Headquarters of the Russian Olympic Committee in Moscow OKRossii.JPG
Headquarters of the Russian Olympic Committee in Moscow

Media attention began growing in December 2014 when German broadcaster ARD reported on state-sponsored doping in Russia, comparing it to doping in East Germany. In November 2015, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) published a report and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) suspended Russia indefinitely from world track and field events. The United Kingdom Anti-Doping agency later assisted WADA with testing in Russia. In June 2016, they reported that they were unable to fully carry out their work and noted intimidation by armed Federal Security Service (FSB) agents. [119] After a Russian former lab director made allegations about the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, WADA commissioned an independent investigation led by Richard McLaren. McLaren's investigation found corroborating evidence, concluding in a report published in July 2016 that the Ministry of Sport and the FSB had operated a "state-directed failsafe system" using a "disappearing positive [test] methodology" (DPM) from "at least late 2011 to August 2015". [120]

In response to these findings, WADA announced that RUSADA should be regarded as non-compliant with respect to the World Anti-Doping Code and recommended that Russia be banned from competing at the 2016 Summer Olympics. [121] The IOC rejected the recommendation, stating that the IOC and each sport's international federation would make decisions on each athlete's individual basis. [122] [123] One day prior to the opening ceremony, 278 athletes were cleared to compete under the Russian flag, while 111 were removed because of doping. [124] In contrast, the entire Kuwaiti team was banned from competing under their own flag (for a non-doping related matter). [125] [126] Unlike the IOC, the International Paralympic Committee voted unanimously to ban the entire Russian team from the 2016 Summer Paralympics and suspended the Russian Paralympic Committee, having found evidence that the DPM was also in operation at the 2014 Winter Paralympics. [127]

See also


Related Research Articles

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Summer Olympic Games International multi-sport event

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