In 2009, Rio de Janeiro was chosen to host the 2016 Olympics, the 31st edition of the Modern era, which started in 1896. With Rio as the choice this year, it marks the first time the Olympics will be held in sunny South America. The ‘wonderful city’ lives up to its name and has a beautiful landscape, combining white sandy beaches, stunning mountains and historical monuments aplenty.
With 6.5 million inhabitants, Rio de Janeiro is the second-largest Brazilian city. Between 1763 and 1960, Rio was the capital of Brazil, both during the colonial period and after its independence in 1822. Because of its history, Rio de Janeiro is a hotspot for travellers. The majestic Christ the Redeemer, the Sugarloaf tram, the Maracana Stadium, the Arcos da Lapa, the lush Botanical Garden and the frenetic carnival parades in the Sambadrome are some of the main highlights in a city that has the 30th largest GDP in the world and receives 1.5 million tourists every year.
At the Olympics this year, we will see the return of the greatest Olympic medalist in history – the American swimmer Michael Phelps. The winner of 18 gold out of 22 medals will return for his fourth Olympics. There is also a lot of expectation in athletics: Will someone be able to beat Jamaican Usain Bolt in the 100m dash? The US team are favourites to win 97 medals, according to NBC, and it forecasts China will visit the podium around 76 times. The Brazilian delegation aims to take 30 medals.