We’re big fans of getting ahead of your competition. So, in the spirit of competition… and with the 2016 Summer Olympics kicking off tonight (8/5) in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, we’re giving you 25 interesting facts about this year’s Olympics.
1. The first ancient Olympic Games took place in 776 B.C. in Olympia, Greece.
2. The Olympic motto is “Citius, Altius, Fortius.” (“Faster, higher, stronger.”)
3. The Olympic rings represent the union of Africa, America, Asia, Oceania and Europe, as well as the meeting of the athletes from around the world at the Games.
4. This is the first Olympic Games held in South America.
5. The games will be held from August 5-August 21.
6. Rio won the bid in 2009 against some pretty strong competitors – Chicago, Madrid, and Tokyo.
7. Rio de Janeiro translates to “River of January” in Portuguese. The name comes from Portuguese explorers who reached it on January 1, 1502.
8. There is actually no river in Rio. It was a mistake. The explorer who landed there, Gaspar de Lemos, anchored in a huge bay and mistakenly thought it was the mouth of a river.
9. The official language of Rio is Portuguese.
10. Over 64% of the country practices Roman Catholicism.
11. The Christ the Redeemer statue was built in 1922 and took nine years to complete.
12. It is the 5th largest statue of Jesus in the world and is named as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
13. Approximately 10,500 athletes over 205 countries are expected to compete.
14. Expenses and revenue for the games are estimated at $7.4 billion.
15. Over the course of this year’s Olympics (17 days) there will be 306 medal events.
16. 136 women’s medal events, 161 men’s medal events, and 9 mixed events.
17. Women were not included in the Olympics until 1900 in Paris, France.
18. In the most recent Summer Olympic Games (in London), 44% of the competitors were women.
19. The only sports that have been included in every Summer Olympic Games are track and field, swimming, gymnastics, cycling, and fencing.
20. This year there are 2 new sports: Golf and Rugby.
21. It has been 112 years since golf was included as an Olympic game.
22. Rio built 10 new facilities to host this year’s games.
23. There are 7.5 million tickets available – ticket prices are running from less than 20$ to 350$ dependent on the event.
24. The most popular events are soccer, volleyball, handball, and basketball.
25. Thirty-two competition venues are spread out across four regions of Rio de Janeiro: Deodoro, Maracana, Barra, and Copacabana.