Visiting Rio? Don’t forget to download our gay guide to the Rio Olympics!
The Rio 2016 Summer Games run from August 5 to August 21 and nearly everyone’s going to be talking about it. But here’s five fun facts that make these games unlike any before.
It’s The Largest Summer Games Yet
Though the Olympics originally hail from ancient Greece, the modern Olympic Games have grown since their April 1896 revival to include over 10,500 athletes from 206 different countries competing in 28 sports for 306 sets of medals in the 31st Summer Olympiad at Rio 2016.
It’s actually winter in Brazil, and that’s not all
Rio is the first South American city to host the Summer Olympics and Brazil is the first Portuguese-speaking country to do so; both odd considering that it’s actually winter there.
Two new sports and countries will make an appearance
Golf and rugby sevens will make their first appearance in the Olympic games this year, as will the countries of Kosovo and South Sudan, and 10 Refugee Olympic Athletes competing under the Olympic Flag.
The venues aren’t all in Rio
The Olympic venues are in the Barrada da Tijuca, Deodoro, Maracanã, and Copacabana Beach zones of Rio. The icons on the map below suggest the sports happening at each venue. Not all the games will take place in Rio, however — some soccer games will take place in nearby cities São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Brasília and Manaus.
They’re all largely connected by bus and metro, but watch out — the metro stops running at midnight (and at 11pm on Sundays); buses typically run every 15 minutes except at night when they run about once an hour.
The Principle 6 Campaign will likely make an appearance
Also, keep your eyes out for people wearing red Principle 6 shirts. Started in part by Athlete Ally — a nonprofit focused on ending homophobia and transphobia in sports — the Principle 6 campaign highlights a part of the Olympic Charter, which describes discrimination as “incompatible with belonging to the Olympic movement”. You’re likely to see a few athletes and visitors wearing these shirts throughout the games.
Unlike the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia, people won’t be wearing Campaign 6 shirts in Brazil to protest the host country’s homophobia; they’ll be wearing them to celebrate Brazil’s generally welcoming attitude towards LGBT people and to highlight the importance of continuing to oppose discrimination worldwide.
(featured image via the Official Rio 2016 Facebook page)