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Opening ceremony and start of the Olympic Games

For the first time in the history of the Olympic Games the global sporting event is held in South America in August 2016: In the Brazilian metropolis Rio de Janeiro.

How long does Olympia last?

The Olympic Games in Rio begin on August 5, 2016 with the Opening ceremony in the Maracanã Stadium. 16 days later, on August 21, all decisions have been made, and the games have been completed.

When does the closing ceremony take place?

The closing ceremony of the Olympic Games is held on the evening of August 21, 2016 in the legendary Maracana Stadium. The hymns to be played include Brazilian (as organizer) Greece (as birthplace of the Olympic Games) and Japan (as the next host country) as well as the Olympic anthem.

How many competitions are there?

As part of the 2016 Olympic Games, the athletes compete in 28 sports. 41 disciplines and 306 Events and compete for medals. New in the Olympic program, since 2016, are the sports Golf and seven rugby, in each of which a men's and a women's tournament will be held.

Venues for the 2016 Olympics games

Competition venues

The venues are in four different zones within Rio de Janeiro, namely Maracanã, Barra, Deodoro and Copacabana.


The opening and closing ceremonies and the final of the football tournament will be celebrated in Maracana, that very stadium, where 2014 World Cup final between Germany and Argentina was discharged. The venue for the athletics competitions will be the Olympic Stadium Nilton Santos, which is also located in the Maracanã zone.


Most venues are located in Barra. Here is the Olympic Aquatics Stadium, where the swimming and water polo competitions are held, the venues for gymnastics (Rio Olympic Arena), handball (Future Arena), basketball and various martial arts (Carioca Arena), tennis (Barra Olympic Park), cycling ( Rio Olympic Velodrome), golf (Olympic Golf Course), as well as boxing, badminton, table tennis, weightlifting (Riocentro) and other sports.

In addition, Barra will house the Olympic Village, located near the Olympic Park.


In Deodoro; however, the venues for horse riding (Olympic Equestrian Centre), hockey (Olympic Hockey Centre), modern pentathlon (Deodoro Stadium), mountain bike and BMX (X-Park) and hockey (Olympic Hockey Centre) are located.


In the district of Copacabana, the sports beach volleyball (beach volleyball arena), (da Glória Marina), Rowing (Lagoa Stadium), triathlon and road race (Fort Copacabana) and sailing are accommodated.

The next Olympic Games in 2018 and 2020

The hosting of the 2018 Winter Olympics has been secured by the South Korean city Pyeongchang . For the second time after the 1988 Summer Olympics the Olympic Games take place on South Korean soil.

The next Summer Olympic Games in 2020 will be held in Tokyo. As early as 1964 the Summer Olympic Games have taken place there.

What sports are represented?

The program for this year includes 28 sports in 41 disciplines and 306 events. All sports that were represented in 2012 at the Olympics - including horse riding, swimming, athletics, archery, weightlifting and various team sports such as football, handball and basketball, and martial arts such as judo, wrestling and taekwondo - will also be held in 2016. Newly added are also the disciplines golf and rugby which for a long time were no longer part of the Olympic Games.

Golf was held for the last time in the 1904 Olympic Games, more than 100 years ago and also Rugby, since 1924, is now participating again for the first time. However, the fifteen Rugby will not be played this year, only the seven variant, in which only seven athletes participate per team.

Which countries participate?

The Olympic Games is a global sports event, at which athletes from all countries of the globe can participate. For the 2016 Olympics, which takes places in the Brazilian metropolis Rio de Janeiro, athletes have qualified from 186 nations. For the first time this also includes Kosovo, in addition a participation of athletes from the South Sudan is expected.

The total number of athletes participating in the Olympia is expected to be more than 10,500. The largest team is represented with the US with more than 500 athletes followed by hosts Brazil and China.

The situation of Russian athletes at the 2016 Olympics

Ahead of the Olympics there were revelations, where it was specified that members of the Russian athletics team systematically increased their performance in the past with the assistance of drugs. Therefore, only Russian athletes may participate at the 2016 Olympic Games if they have tested negatively outside of their home country, for drugs. These athletes; however, will not participate under the Russian flag but as independent participants.

The Team Refugee Olympic Athletes

At the 2016 Olympia team will participate for the first time, consisting of people, who has recognized refugees may not represent their home country. This was announced by IOC president Thomas Bach in October, 2015. In March 2016 Bach formalized the plans and stated that the Refugee Olympic Athletes team (Team ROA) will consist of five to ten athletes who will start under the Olympic flag. From 43 potential candidates only ten were eventually selected ten, of which five originate from the South Sudan, two from Syria and the Congo and one from Ethiopia. At the opening ceremony, which takes place on August 5, the members of the ROA team march before the host team of Brazil into the Maracana. The Olympic anthem will be heard.

What origin do the Olympic Games have?

The 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro are already the 31st Olympic Games of the modern era. Its origins of the sporting event was in existence already more than 2,500 years ago - in ancient Greece.

Who "invented" Olympia?

Already in 776 BC according to traditions the first Olympic Games should have occurred in ancient times. The competition was invented, according to different sources, either by Herakles Idaios - who possibly represented an early incarnation of the hero and demigod Heracles - or of Pelops.

According to Greek mythology Herakles organized Idaios, a race with his four brothers, which can be considered the origin of the Olympic Games. In another version, the hero Pelops founded the Olympic Games, after King Oenomaus was killed through a betrayal and was plagued by a bad conscience. The three kings Lycurgus of Sparta, Iphitos of Elis and Kleosthenes of Pisa developed the competition as an institution, which was held between 776 and 393 AD. However, so far no archaeological evidence has been found that the Olympic Games already took place in the 8th Century BC, the earliest evidence comes from the period around 700 BC.

Where is ancient Olympia?

The Olympic Games of ancient times were held in Olympia, a sanctuary of the Greek God Zeus, which was located in the ancient region of Elis in the northwestern half island of Peloponnese. There, several temples were built, inter alia, for Zeus and his wife Hera. In addition there was a stadium in Olympia which seated up to 50,000 spectators. The sanctuary of Olympia could not be entered with weapons, in addition it had to be ensured that all participants in the Olympic Games could securely arrive and depart.

What do the 5 rings represent and what do they state?

The symbol of the modern Olympics are the five interlaced rings. It was designed in 1913 by Pierre de Coubertin, the father of the modern Olympic Games. The rings represent the five continents, to be united together by the Olympic idea. The colors of the rings, blue, yellow, black, green and red, as well as the white background are also found in all national flags of the world.