Fun Facts to Kick Off The 2016 Rio Olympics!

The time has come.  The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro! You have a Caipirinha cocktail in hand and are ready for the world’s best athletes to bring on the action.

Here are some fun facts to get in the spirit of the 2016 Rio Olympics:

  1. Rio de Janeiro is named after a river that doesn’t actually exist. Rio de Janeiro translates to “River of January.”  Legend has it that Portuguese explorers landed in the region in January of 1502 and thought the bay was really the mouth of a river, which led to the city’s name.
  1. The Rio Olympics has a motto!  “Live your passion” or “Viva sua paixao” in Portuguese.
  1. The Rio 2016 games are the first Olympic games to be held in South America.
  1. The International Olympic Committee (OIC) created a Refugee Olympic Team (ROT) made up of 10 athletes who no longer have a country because they had to flee their home nations.
  1. The 2016 Rio Olympics has two mascots, one for the Olympics and one for the Paralympics.  The Olympic mascot, Vinicius, is a combination of different Brazilian animals with elements of monkeys, birds, and cats.  He is named after Vinicius de Moraes, a Rio-born poet and composer.  The Paralympics mascot, Tom, is a combination of different Brazilian plants.
  1. Roughly 7.5 million tickets were sold for the Rio 2016 games.
  1. The cheapest tickets for the games were sold for $40 USD and the most expensive were sold for near $3,000 USD.
  1. This year, golf returns as an Olympic sport – for the first time in 112 years!
  1. Rio de Janeiro was once the capital of the Portuguese Empire.
  1. This year, the age range for Olympic gymnasts may make a record of its own.  16-year-old Laurie Hernandez is the youngest member of the US Olympic team.  At the other end of the spectrum, 41-year-old Oksana Chusovitnia will be competing on the Uzbekistan team.
  1. It will cost Brazil 37.6 billion Brazilian Real (or about 11.9 billion USD) to host this summer’s games.
  1. The Brazilian organizers predict that they will prepare 60,000 meals each day to feed Olympic athletes with regional foodie staples like black beans and rice, barbecued meats, pao de queijo (cheese bread), Amazonian acai berries (superfoods for super athletes), and more.

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