Rio 2016: 10 fast facts

In 100 days Rio will welcome 206 countries to four venues across Brazil to compete for 4,924 medals in 42 different sporting codes…

As Olympic conversation is going to start cropping up more and more as the event creeps closer, we have compiled a list of 10 fast facts that are bound to give you plenty of ammunition with which to impress your peers with.

1. Rio 2016 will be the first time in Olympic history that a South American country has hosted the Games. The city won it’s bid in 2009, beating Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo to claim the right to host the event.

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2. The opening and closing ceremonies of the games will be held in Rio’s Maracanã Stadium, which boasts the world record for the most fans ever to attend a football game. While the home of Brazilian football can only seat around 78,000 people, the stadium crammed in an estimated 173,000 people during the 1950 World Cup final.

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3. Brazilian football star Neymar is expected to be the athlete with the largest social media following at the games.

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4. The torch relay began on April 21 in the Games’ birthplace of Olympia in Greece and will travel for more than 90 days before finishing in Rio on August 5. While in Greece, it will pass through the Eloenas refugee camp, near Athens, where one resident will be selected as a torch bearer.

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5. Rugby Sevens makes its debut at the Rio Games. The U.S. is a defending rugby champion, of some kind, having won the gold medal in the 15-man code the last time the sport was featured at the Olympics way back in 1924.

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6. Golf will also return to the Olympics after a 112-year absence. The sport was previously played in the 1900 and 1904 Games. The 18 holes in Rio were designed by American golf-course architect Gil Hanse. Unfortunately some players have cited scheduling issues which will prevent them from competing in Rio. At this stage, Charl Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen, Adam Scott and Vijay Singh have all made themselves unavailable, much to the disappointment of golfing legend Gary Player.

7. The mascot for 2016 is “Vinicius,” a yellow and blue creature representing Brazilian wildlife. Rio 2016 organizers say they hope Vinicius will help them raise 1 billion reais from merchandising sales.

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8. Around 85,000 soldiers and policemen will be deployed which is the largest security force assembled at any event in Brazil’s history and twice as large as the security presence for London 2012.

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9. Michael Phelps has won 18 gold medals in the past three games. That is seven more than the combined total of all competitors for Brazil in that time.

10. There are 7.5 million tickets available, with prices ranging from $40 for some swimming events to almost $3,000 for the best seats at the opening ceremony.

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