This modality has one of the most coveted finals at the Olympic Games. The men’s gold medal match is usually one of the last events, held just a few hours before the Closing Ceremony. The matches take place at Maracanazinho arena and Italy, Brazil, Canada, Poland, Russia and Argentina are the strongest teams in men's division. Women's division is leaded by Brazil, China, South Korea and Netherlands.
A Latin passion, tickets for this sport were one of the most sought after, second only to volleyball events. Soccer matches will be held in more than one city – in addition to Maracanã Stadium, the teams will play in capital cities that hosted the World Cup, including Salvador and São Paulo. Brazil, Honduras, Nigeria and Germany compete at men's semifinals, while women's soccer is leaded by Brazil, Sweden, Germany and Canada.
The Carioca Arena 1, at the Olympic center in Barra da Tijuca, and the Youth Arena, at the Olympic center in Deodoro, will be the venues for basketball matches. The American team – the current champion – is one of the favorites to win the competition, along with the Spanish and Argentinean teams. Among women, the gold is decided by Australia, USA, France and Spain teams.
Athletes and their spectacular acrobatic movements invaded the Rio Olympic Arena, located in Barra da Tijuca, and made and incredible show. In Rio 2016, US, UK, Japan and Russia leaded the countries with most medals at the sport.
With several different events – 16 men’s events and 16 women’s events –, this modality is pure adrenaline. The competitions feature four strokes (freestyle, backstroke, butterfly and breaststroke) and are divided into individual and relay events. At Rio 2016 Olympics, the games took place at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium, located in Barra da Tijuca. US and Australia were hits and american Michael Phelps reigned supreme again, tooking six medals home.
Jamaican Usain Bolt is one of the games greatest names so far, winning gold at 100-metre dash in a time of 9”81 seconds. Jamaican Elaine Thompson also won women’s race in 10”71 seconds. One of the most traditional Olympic sports, athletics has been part of the Games since 1896, and the events are held at the Olympic centers at Maracanã (Olympic Stadium and Sambódromo) and in Copacabana (Pontal).
The Olympic Tennis Centre in Barra da Tijuca received star athletes as Scotsman Andy Murray, which took gold agains argentinian Del Potro. Puerto Rican Mónica Puig took world by surprise, winning her country’s first gold medal. Like athletics, the sport is part of the games since 1986.
The events for this quintessential Rio sport will be held at Copacabana Beach. Brazil and the US have a long tradition in this modality – American players Walsh Jennings and May won the last three editions and Brazilian athlete Emanuel Rego participated in five Olympic Games.
Judo has been an Olympic sport since the 1960s, but women’s events were only incorporated into the competition in 1992. The sport, which is not so popular in the rest of Latin America, is where Brazil has won most medals in Olympic history (a total of 22, considering this edition's three medals).
The men’s and women’s events will be held at the Future Arena in Barra da Tijuca. Quite popular in Europe – among the 20 biggest winners, 18 are European countries –, the champions at the 2012 Olympic Games were France (men’s) and Norway (women’s). Among women, Russia, France, Sweden, Netherlands, Nowray and Angola are the strongest teams. Between men, Croatia, Germany, France, Slovenia, Brazil and Denmark might take gold home.
Photos: Gabriel Heusi, Miriam Jeske, FIVB, Ricardo Bufolin, Coutesy InPress