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.

Rio de Janeiro is ready

The Olympic flame for the Rio 2016 Games will be lit on 21 April in the Greek city of Olympia, the birthplace of the Games, before being transported to Brasília, where the torch relay will begin on May 3. About 12,000 torchbearers (the first will be selected in February) will carry the torch across the country, passing through more than 300 towns and cities. After 100 days it will arrive at the legendary Maracanã Stadium, when it will be used to light the Olympic cauldron at the opening ceremony on 5 August.

Cariocas, as Rio’s residents are known, will not have to wait until the Games themselves to see some of the world’s best athletes competing in the city. With 25 test events to be staged between January (starting with basketball) and May (ending with Paralympic athletics), Games organisers will continue to fine tune their preparations. Barra Olympic Park, the heart of the Games, staged it first test event (tennis) in December and will host a further 17 up to May. Some of them, such as the gymnastics competition in April, will provide opportunities for competitors to qualify for the Rio 216 Games. 

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