People all over the world are watching as Rio de Janeiro hosts the grand event; the summer Olympics.
The summer Olympics will show over 11,000 athletes participate in over 306 events. With competitions covering twenty eight different sports.
Brazil is a beautiful country and is very proud that their beautiful beach-side city, Rio de Janeiro, is able to host such an illustrious event. Many of you are probably watching the games at home with your family. What do you really know about Rio? We wanted to share some fun facts about Rio. Now you can impress your friends and family with facts about Rio and about the Olympics.
Rio de Janiero, Brazil
Europeans first settled in Guanabara Bay in January of 1502. The Portuguese were the first settlers. They named the area “January River” which was translated Rio de Janeiro. The expedition was led by explorer Gaspar de Lemos as ordered by King Manuel I.
At the time Rio de Janeiro was inhabited by the native groups of the Tupi, Puri, Botocudo, and Maxahali peoples. The city of Rio de Janeiro proper was officially founded by the Portuguese on March 1, 1565. First formally named São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro in honour of St. Sebastian. The saint was the patron of the Portuguese Monarch D. Senastiao.
Rio de Janeiro was the official name of Guanabara Bay and during the 18th century Rio was invaded by several French pirates and buccaneers. Jean-François Duclerc and René Duguay-Trouin to name a few.
It wasn’t until 1822 that Prince Pedro proclaimed the independence of Brazil. Prince Pedro chose to keep Rio de Janeiro as the capital of his new empire. Rio continued as the capital of Brazil until after 1889, when the monarchy was replaced by a republic.
Summer Olympics 2016
Rio began bidding for the 2016 Olympics in 2007. It is a big deal to be the chosen host city and involves a lot of work in preparation. It takes years to prepare for the 16 day event. Major infrastructure had to be completed, including Olympic Park. The Olympic Village and a lot of urban renovation had to be completed to accommodate all the tourists and participants in the games. The outbreak of the mosquito transmitted Zika Virus caused a lot of controversy. It led to a change in the way health is handled before and during the Olympic games.
The Guanabara Bay that is to be used for many water events is heavily polluted. It needs to be properly dealt with before events can be held. This process led to a political upheaval, affecting not only President Rousseff, but also former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Brazil was also having its worst economic crisis since the 1990s. Which made many question whether the country was prepared for the Games. In May, President Rousseff was stripped of her powers and duties for 180 days following an impeachment vote in the Federal Senate. Leaving Vice President Michel Temerwill as acting president during the Games.