Spotlight on the Olympic Games

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On 5th August the 2016 Olympics Games starts in Rio, Brazil. Top athletes from many different countries will be arriving to take part in one of the most prestigious sporting events in the world.

What you need to know about the Olympic Games

The 2016 Olympic Games lasts from 5th – 21st August.

This is the first ever Olympic Games to take place in South America. It is the first to take place in a Portuguese-speaking country.

The slogan for this year’s Olympic games in Rio is “Viva sua paixão”. This translates as “Live your passion”.

For the first time ever there will be an Olympic Refugee team taking part, giving hope to people displaced by war and social unrest from all over the world. Five runners from South Sudan, two swimmers from Syria, two judokas from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and a marathon runner from Ethiopia will march under the Olympic flag at the opening ceremony on 5th August at the Maracanã Stadium.

The official logo for the 2016 Olympics represents three figures, in the yellow, green, and blue of the Brazilian flag, joined at the arms and in a triple embrace. The overall shape represents Rio’s Sugarloaf Mountain.

Amazing Olympics Facts and Figures

10,500 athletes from 205 different countries will be taking part.

There are 42 different sports across 306 events. Kitesurfing will be an Olympic sport for the first time as will rugby sevens. Golf is returning after 112 years. It is a very popular game in Brazil. The 18 holes golf course in Rio has been designed by American golf-course architect Gil Hanse.

Events are taking place in 33 different venues in four different areas of Rio de Janeiro. Best known is Copacabana where the world-famous beach will be hosting, of course, the volleyball. The district of Barra de Tijuca is home to the Olympic Park. Aquatics, BMX, and equestrian events will take place in Deodoro, and there is a huge stadium in Maracanã where the opening and closing ceremonies will take place.

Football is also taking place in Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Salvador and São Paulo.

During the Games, the organising committee will provide an astonishing 11 million meals and, we like to think, thousands of bottles of Sunny D. Plus 1,00,000 chairs, 72,000 tables, 60,000 clothes hangers, 34,000 beds, 25,000 tennis balls, 8,400 shuttlecocks and 315 horses!

There will be around 85,000 soldiers and police helping with security. This is the largest security force assembled at any event in Brazil's history.

About 140,000 people are involved in hosting the Olympic Games. That’s 90,000 employees and a further 50,000 volunteers who will be coming from all over the world.

How to watch the Olympics

The Olympics will be shown live on TV in the UK from 5th- 21st August. The opening ceremony will begin at 11.35pm UK time.

On the first weekend Olympic men's and women's cycling road races take place, plus the first swimming events in the pool. Rowing and gymnastics also take place in the first few days.

Athletics starts on 12th August. Jessica Ennis-Hill will be representing Team GB in the hepathlon on Saturday 13th August alongside Mo Farah in the 10,000m race and Greg Rutherford in the long jump. Usain Bolt is racing in the 100m final on Sunday 14 August. 

The BBC will be broadcasting live every day, with full coverage on BBC1 and BBC4 from 1pm every day through to 1am in the morning (switching to BBC2 during the news). There will also be up to 24 live Olympic channels on the BBC Sport website.

Hazel Irvine, Mark Chapman, Clare Balding and Jason Mohammad will be heading the BBC’s presentation team at the Rio Games, from the Opening Ceremony through to the Closing Ceremony on 21st August.

Find out more about the Olympics in Rio: