McDonald’s celebrating friendship at Olympic Games Rio 2016
For the Olympic Games Rio 2016, Worldwide Olympic Partner McDonald’s is hoping to bring fans, athletes and customers together as part of its #FriendsWin digital initiative, which will celebrate the spirit of friendship that is at the heart of the Olympic values.
As part of this celebration, McDonald’s has given 100 children from around the world the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in the Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony as part of the McDonald’s Olympics Kids programme.
While McDonald’s has been sending children to experience the Olympic Games since Beijing 2008, this will be the first time that they have been given the chance to participate in the Opening Ceremony, which will be seen by 80,000 spectators in Rio’s famed Maracanã Stadium and live by billions of television viewers worldwide.
Among those to be chosen to travel to Rio is nine-year-old Darius Ziabakhsh from New Jersey, USA, who suffers a rare heart defect and has regularly stayed at the Ronald McDonald House near the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
“I still don’t believe it. I’m pinching myself,” says Darius’ mother, Tracy Smith. “This will be a memory he will have for life, a memory he can talk about and be proud of his whole life.”
In addition to participating in the Opening Ceremony, Darius and the other children selected to travel to Rio will also have the opportunity to attend Olympic events, meet athletes, make new friends and experience special Olympic moments with behind-the- scenes access at the Games. They will also be joined by an array of legendary Olympic ambassadors, including five-time Olympic gymnastics champion Nadia Comaneci and twelve-time Olympic swimming medallist Dana Torres.
McDonald’s support of the Olympic Moment began with the 1968 Olympic Winter Games in Grenoble, France, when the company airlifted hamburgers to USA athletes after they reported being homesick for McDonald’s food. Rio marks the company’s 11th consecutive Games as the Official Restaurant.
Throughout the Games, McDonald’s will feed the coaches, officials, athletes and their family and friends onsite in its International Zone Restaurant, and will also provide a Dessert Kiosk for spectators in the Olympic Park in the Barra Region. A 200-strong Olympic Crew, featuring members from Brazil, Japan, Korea, China and the United States, will staff McDonald’s onsite locations during the Games.
McDonald’s participation at the Olympic Games is also upholding and advancing the Rio 2016 Food Vision and Olympic Agenda 2020. It will be serving Filet-O-Fish sandwiches made with Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fish, as well as Rainforest Alliance (RFA) certified coffee in Forest Stewardship Association (FSA) verified hot cups, both of which support McDonald’s commitments to sustainable sourcing and deforestation.