The journey to hosting the summer Olympics and Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro began in 2006 when the city was chosen by the Brazilian Olympic Committee to be its bidding city. The Olympics’ bidding process is long and vigorous. The bid was submitted in 2007 and the city qualified among the 3 cities to contest for the position. This was the first time the city successfully passed to the candidature stage, after 3 failed attempts in 1936, 2004 and 2012. The city successfully won the bid in 2009 after intensive evaluation by the International Olympic Committee in 2008. The city was found fit to hold the games as it had the facilities to host all sports within the city, with the exception of football which was held in various cities in Brazil. This, in itself was historic as it would be the first city in South America to host the Olympic Games.
Due to the great popularity of the Olympics, it required the city to build new infrastructure in order to be able to host the huge crowds that would visit the city. Rio de Janeiro budgeted to host the games at a cost of US$14.4 billion. Since the official naming of Rio as the host city of the 2016 summer Olympic and Paralympics, the city has undergone extensive changes to increase the trustworthiness of the city.
It is a city that has a reputation for a thriving nightlife and samba sounds. Additionally, it is also known to have a great history in holding major sporting events including the Pan American games and NASCAR. In the argument placed in the bid, it was said that the games would foster social integration by reducing the socio-economic variations among the citizens. Additionally, the committee committed to making the 2016 Summer Olympics about environmental conservation. This was seen in the use of recycled materials to make medals and planting of trees to curb carbon pollution caused during the events.
In the months leading up to the Rio Olympics, the city was marred with uncertainty of the city’s ability to host the games. To begin with, the projects for building the Olympic venues were very late. Some work such as the completion of the athletes’ Olympic village delayed so much that they were done after the athletes had checked in. Some countries such as Australia had brought in manpower work on unfinished works. Additionally, the country was faced by an epidemic of the zika virus. This threatened the safety of both athletes and fans. Some sportsmen such as the top 4 world’s best golfers cancelled their trips to the Rio Olympics due to the fear of zika virus.
Brazil also fell into political turmoil after corruption scandals faced their president, prompting an impeachment vote that could see her lose her seat. Rio de Janeiro is also not renowned for its security. The city has numerous gangs operating in the city. Many fans expressed concern over their safety during the events. There have been allegations of American swimmers getting robbed in the events. However, the allegations have taken a dramatic turn pointing to falsehood by the athletes. The police, however, had fuelled the fear in the city as they protested for late payment before the beginning of the games. They said they would not be able to protect the tourists. This did little to boost confidence among tourists, despite the government increasing the security for the events to double the number that was at the London Olympics.
The 2016 Olympics in Rio, Brazil have made news for a variety of reasons. Before the start of the Olympic Games, the games were famous for negative issues such as the scare of the Zika virus, incomplete preparations by the host nation and insecurity. However, since the games have been a tremendous success so far. This article seeks to highlight some of the great events that have marked the games and made this one of the most memorable event in Olympic Games’ history.
Just like in many other sectors, technology advancement since the 2012 Olympics has improved greatly. There are several games that have incorporated technology to improve the fairness in play. For instance, this is the first Olympics whereby video playback is used to challenge referees’ calls in volleyball. The games have incorporated a second umpire who reviews videos to verify a call that players challenge. This has improved the fair play policies for the sport.
Additionally, swimming has incorporated lap counters in the bottom of the pools to help the swimmers count the number of laps that they have gone. Before this, it was quite common for swimmers especially in the 800m and 1500m swimming competitions to lose count of their laps. The counters from omega have helped the swimming athletes to focus on the competition and improve on their performance.
In archery, technology has replaced the referee’s call. The paper target was replaced by an electronic sensor machine that reflects the score on a big screen as soon as the target is hit. It improves accuracy and the spectator experience as the result is spontaneous with the hit. Moreover, the spectators are also able to monitor the athletes’ heartbeat, which is an important aspect in archery. Similarly, technology has been used in shooting to track weapons used in the games to ensure security (The use of Radio-frequency Identifier tags).
There are other games that have incorporated technology to improve the referee’s judgement and also improve the fans’ experience. Other games such as canoe sprints and rowing have incorporated GPS technology on all canoes so that the fans can track them in real time. Additionally, the spectators are also able to follow the competition on a big screen which improves their experiences greatly.
Besides the technology used to improve the quality of the individual sports, there are also technological advancements that have made the Rio Olympics such a sensation all around the world. Use of Virtual reality has been used for the opening ceremony and has been used to show one event per day. It will also be used for the closing ceremony courtesy of the Olympics Broadcasting Services. The technology has also helped companies such as Samsung advertise using a short film in virtual reality.
Technological advancements driven by the Olympics games also include the VISA’s new payment methods that use Near Field Communications technology to enable use of bracelets and rings to pay. The company has given all the athletes they sponsor the ring to use for payments and they are made to work at all VISA payment outlets in the games. The devices improve security and improve the efficiency of operations.
Social Media has been used largely by the fans and competing nations to drum support for their athletes. Through Social media, people from all around the world are able to discuss the games in-depth and cheer on their people. Additionally, people are also able to follow the games from social media sites where they can be streamed. Companies such as Comcast in the US provides streaming of the games in any data format. The company provides Olympics highlights and news via Snapchat.
The Rio Olympics have also been phenomenal in other aspects other than technology. For instance, the 2016 summer Olympics marked the return of golf and rugby sevens in the sports. Windsurfing was also replaced by kitesurfing. Additionally, other news that highlighted the events were the doping scandals involving Russia. This saw detest of Russian athletes by fans who booed them during the competition. We hope you enjoy this short article! Comments or suggestions always welcome!