Rio ready to put on a party for Games spectators
With a global reputation as a party town, the expectation for Rio 2016 is high. And the city that is famous for its extravagant Carnival celebrations is going all out to bring the same spirit to the Olympic Games.
Spectators going to Rio 2016 events will get more than just a sporting show with special attractions at many of the 32 venues. Anyone going to the Olympic Park in Barra will be able to soak up the atmosphere and follow the action elsewhere at the 26,000m2 outdoor live site, where there are big screens and stages for concerts.
“The setting is fantastic,” says Eduardo Paes, Rio de Janeiro’s mayor. “During the Games, it will be the meeting point for people from all over the world.”
Those going to watch golf make its Olympic comeback will have the chance to try their hand at the sport using interactive technology at the entrance to the course. Coaches will be available to give 10-minute lessons before fans use the two golf simulators to try to get closest to the pin and record the longest drive.
And visitors will have a range of almost 40 different snacks and drinks to choose from at the stadiums, including the Amazonian “superfruit” açaí and Brazilian cheesebread, or pão de queijo.
While those with tickets will undoubtedly be in for a treat inside the venues, the rest of the public will be able to enjoy the Games at three Live Sites.
The first, in the recently regenerated port region, will be the biggest Live Site in the history of the Games as part of the Olympic Boulevard programme. Stretching for almost 3km, the Marvellous Port site will feature three stages with daily shows by Brazilian artists including Preta Gil, Johnny Hooker and Fafá de Belém. There will also be special collaborations between Rio’s famous samba schools and Carnival street bands known as blocos.
The Olympic atmosphere will really begin when the Torch Relay arrives in the downtown area of the city before the Opening Ceremony on 5 August. Every evening, a firework display will light up the sky behind the iconic Museum of Tomorrow with traditional parties taking place every Sunday afternoon.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the city, two other Live Sites will display the best of Brazilian culture.
At Parque Madureira in the north of Rio, there will be an 18-day sports tournament along with dance-off between youngsters performing a favela funk dance known as passinho. And in Campo Grande in the west of Rio, the Olympic Boulevard at the Miécimo da Silva sports centre will have two big screens, sports workshops and daily music concerts from 7pm.
“We’re sure we’re going to spread the Olympic spirit through the whole city,” says Antonio Pedro.“We’re going to show off the party that Rio is famous for.”