The 2016 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXXI Olympiad and as Rio 2016, is a major international multi-sport event due to be celebrated in the tradition of the Olympic Games, as governed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The host city of the Games will be Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, announced at the 121st IOC Session held in Copenhagen, Denmark, on October 2, 2009. The games will open on August 5, 2016 and the closing ceremony will be on August 21, 2016. There will be 35 competition venues mainly in Barra da Tijuca, but also in three other zones: Copacabana, Deodoro, and Maracanã. It will be the first time a South American and Lusophone city will host the event.

Friends of the Rio 2016 mascots tour the city

It all began five years ago. On 2 October 2009, Jacques Rogge, the then President of the International Olympic Committee, opened an envelope and said the words “Rio de Janeiro”. And the Marvellous City exploded with joy. Rio had been selected to host the first Olympic and Paralympic Games in South America. The outpouring of happiness was felt and absorbed by Brazil’s lush nature, and from this energy were born two magical creatures: the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games mascots. (Watch this video about their creation). The Olympic Games mascot (below) is a mixture of different Brazilian animals, blessed with their many qualities: the agility of the cats, the sway of the monkeys, the grace of the birds. With his keen sense of smell, he can sniff out exciting adventures. His incredible hearing allows him to find the most enthusiastic fans. He can imitate the voice of any animal.