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2016 Rio Olympics - 10 Things You Did Not Know

2016 Rio Olympics - Everything you need to know about Rio 2016

Introduction:

Rio 2016 Summer Olympics are finally here and everyone around the world is watching the world's best athletes to show off years of training, hard work and dedication. But, what are the Summer Olympics and what makes Rio 2016 different? Rio 2016 is a major international multi-sport event in the tradition of the Olympic Games regulated by the International Olympic Committee, being held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The opening rounds began on August 3rd, which are two days before the opening ceremony and the Games is running from August 5th to August 21st in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Over 11,000 athletes from over 200 National Olympic Committees, including South Sudan and Kosovo are taking part in Rio 2016.  There are 306 sets of medals, the games feature 28 Olympic sports, including rugby sevens and golf, which were added by the International Olympic Committee only seven years ago. These sporting events will take place in over 30 different venues in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Brasília and Manaus. This will be the first Summer Olympic Games under the IOC presidency of Thomas Bach, a German lawyer and former Olympic Champion fencer. Bach is the ninth and current president of the International Olympic Committee.

Rio Olympics 2016 are making history

Gold, silver and bronze with symbol of running athlete. Nice wallpaper for summer olympic game in Rio Gold, silver and bronze with symbol of running athlete. Nice wallpaper for summer olympic game in Rio These are the first games to be held in a Portuguese-speaking country, the first to be held entirely during the host country's winter season, the first since 1968 to be held in Latin America, and the first since 2008 to be held in the Southern Hemisphere. Despite all of the excite, Rio 2016 has be branded by controversies including the country's federal government, health and safety concerns surrounding the Zika virus and significant pollution in the Guanabara Bay. In addition, there were several doping scandals involving Russia, which has affected the participation of its athletes in these Olympic Games.

Summer Olympics 2016 Bidding Process

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - CIRCA MARCH 2015: Flag with Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Fernanda Kairys / Shutterstock.com) The bidding process for the 2016 Olympic Games first started nine years ago. The first step for each city was to submit an initial application to the International Olympic Committee by September 13th 2007. After applications, containing 25 different questions, four cities remained including: Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo. There are several rules in place for the Olympic games. For example, cities may not invite any IOC member to visit nor may they send anything that could be construed as a gift. However, bidding cities invest a lot of money in their PR and media programs in an attempt to indirectly influence the IOC members by building international support, allegiances from sports media and general international news outlets. Jon Tibbs, a consultant of the Tokyo bid for the Olympics said: "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." 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. And Rio de Janeiro was announced as host of 2016 Summer Olympics.

Technology behind Rio 2016 Summer Olympics

RIO DE JANEIRO - APRIL 2, 2016: Silhouette of an athlete holds Olympic rings at a colorful sunrise scene in front of Sugarloaf Mountain (lazyllama / Shutterstock.com) There is a lot of technology invested into the Olympics. The Rio Olympic Games added brand-new robotic technology created by Mark Roberts Motion Control to broaden the reach of photographers at multiple venues. In addition, Microsoft Azure has been selected by the NBC Olympics team to provide cloud hosting for the production of the Games.

Summer Olympics Rio 2016 - Controversies

RIO DE JANEIRO - MARCH 6, 2015: Athlete wearing Olympic rings gold medal stands outdoors in the plaza in front of the Arcos da Lapa Arches in celebration of the city hosting the Summer Games. (lazyllama / Shutterstock.com)

Rio 2016 Zika Virus

An ongoing outbreak of the mosquito-transmitted Zika virus in Brazil raised fears regarding the potential impact on athletes and visitors. Organizers plan to perform daily inspections of Olympic venues to eliminate puddles of stagnant water that allows for mosquitoes to breed and consequently infect athletes and fans. Many people blamed the Zika virus transmission on inefficient sewage treatment in the area, and sewage treatment in the area. However, Brazil improved sewage their sewage system for the athletes and in preparation for the Games. Last May, a group of 150 physicians and scientists sent an open letter to the World Health Organization, calling upon them to 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. In addition, several athletes are not attending the Games because of the epidemic.

The Guanabara Bay's Pollution

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on August 5th, 2016. Brazilian military police watch over tourists and locals at Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro, before the start of the Summer Olympic Games in August 2016. (Alexandre Rotenberg / Shutterstock.com) The Guanabara Bay's water is being used for sailing and windsurfing competitions. But, the waters are reportedly 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 Bay has been a long-term issue. In fact, officials at the Earth Summit in 1992 said they would begin to address the pollution by attempting to clean up the bay. However, some of the proposed initiatvives have suffered budgetary issues. Prior to Rio 2016, only 17% of Rio's sewage was actually treated. This raw sewage was then leaked into the bay.

Operation Car Wash - Brazil Government Corruption

Operation Car Wash in 2014 led by the Federal Police of Brazil discovered unprecedented money laundering and corruption at the hand of the state-controlled oil company Petrobras. In early 2015, a series of protests against the alleged corruption by the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, were started. By early 2016, the alleged scandal turned into a full blown political crisis affecting not only the President, but also the former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, resulting in massive demonstrations all over the country involving millions of protesters. In addition, the country faces its worst economic recession since the 1990s, raising questions about whether the country is adequately prepared for the Games against a volatile political and economic controversy. On May 12th, 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 will be acting president during the Games.

Rio de Janeiro Crime

Rio de Janeiro suffers from crime problems. Rio's mayor has admitted that there are big issues facing the city and attempting to secure the Games from violence. However, he also said that such concerns and issues were presented during the bidding process. The governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro also pointed out that London faced security problems, with a terrorist attack occurring on the day following the IOC session that chose the city to host the 2012 Olympic Games. But, Brazil is prepared. There is an estimated 5,000 men of the National Public Security Force and 22,000 military officers including 14,800 Army; 5,900 Navy and 1,300 of the Brazilian Air Force members.

Terrorist Attacks

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - August 4th, 2016: Security and ambulances ahead of the start of the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Summer Olympic Games (Alexandre Rotenberg / Shutterstock.com) On July 21st two weeks before the scheduled start of the Games, Brazilian Federal Police busted an Islamic jihadist terrorist ring plotting to wreak havoc in a manner similar to the 1972 Munich massacre. 10 people allied with ISIS were arrested with two more on the run. The terror group has been aggressively encouraging lone wolf attacks to target athletes from the UK, US, France and Israel, suggesting the use of poisons or explosives attached to drones.

Summer Olympics 2016 Illegal Doping

PARIS, FRANCE - SEP.13: Russian Track and Field team celebrate first place in relay race on DecaNation International Outdoor Games on September 13, 2015 in Paris, France. (Denis Kuvaev / Shutterstock.com) Last year, Russia's track and field team was provisionally suspended from all international athletic competitions by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAFF) following a World Anti-Doping Agency report into a doping program into the country. On July 2016, an independent investigation reported that Russia's Ministry of Sport and Federal Security Service had operated a "state-dictated" program to implement an extensive doping program and to cover up positive samples. Based on the finding the International Olympics Committee called for an emergency meeting to consider banning Russia Summer Olympics. The IOC decided against completely banning Russia from the Summer Olympics. Consequently, the IOC decided against completely banning Russian participation and instead decided to set additional, stricter requirements for all Russian participants entered into the Olympic Games. And a few months later, 270 athletes were cleared for competition, while 117 have been removed because of doping. What do you think? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below.

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