Maracanã Stadium (Estádio do Maracanã) will be one of the main venues for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. This enormous stadium opened in 1950 for the FIFA World Cup and later hosted the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but it is typically used to host matches for local soccer teams. With seats for almost 79,000 people, it is the largest stadium in Brazil and the second largest in South America.
In August and September of this year, Maracanã will be the venue for the opening ceremonies and closing ceremonies of both the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games.
The Olympic Park
The Olympic Park in the Barra da Tijuca neighborhood is one of the largest construction projects of the Olympic Games. The Olympic Park will be the center of the games, spanning 1.18 million square meters and hosting sixteen Olympic sports. Construction is still on-going, but a recently released video shows the extensive progress that has been made.
Venues here will include the Rio Olympic Arena, which will host the artistic, rhythmic and trampoline gymnastic events; the Velodrome, which will host the track cycling competitions; and the Riocentro Pavilions, which will host badminton, table tennis, weight lifting, and boxing.
In addition to the new structures in Barra da Tijuca, the new road and subway lines that connect central Rio to this suburb are one of the most anticipated projects of the Olympics. They will help keep traffic flowing during the games and will allow for easy transport between venues for visitors.
Olympic Golf Course
Construction and preparation appear to be finished at the Olympic Golf Course for the 2016 Summer Olympics. This large course was constructed in the seaside neighborhood of Barra da Tijuca in Rio de Janeiro specifically for the games. After the games, the course will become a public facility to promote the sport of golf in Brazil.
Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas
Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas (Rodrigo de Freitas Lake) is located in the heart of Rio de Janeiro with a dramatic backdrop of Tijuca National Forest and Christ the Redeemer. It will be the site of the rowing and canoe events. In preparation for the games, Lagoa Stadium received a new arrival tower and a system of Olympic-standard lanes.
Guanabara Bay has been a major source of concern surrounding the Olympic Games. Pollution levels in the bay remain high, and promises to clean up the bay appear not to have been met. Despite the fact that athletes have fallen ill after test events in the bay, the scheduled events will still go on. Guanabara Bay will host the sailing competitions.
Beach Volleyball Stadium
The Olympic beach volleyball stadium at Copacabana Beach is still being built after a temporary halt in construction in June due to a missing permit. Construction was also slowed following damage from high waves; a temporary blockade of sand has been made to protect the construction from high surf.
Rio Olympic Velodrome
After recent test events, the Velodrome in Barra da Tijuca already appears to be ready to host athletes for the track cycling competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Construction of this venue was set to be completed by the end of June. This modern facility was built specifically for this event, and it will be used as a training center for athletes after the games are finished.
Porto Maravilha and the Museum of Tomorrow
In addition to the sporting event venues, other construction projects have taken place in the lead up to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. One of the city’s biggest projects, Porto Maravilha, is a revitalization project at the port district. The area includes new streets, cultural facilities, pedestrians areas, and the striking Museum of Tomorrow.
The area around the Museum of Tomorrow will be transformed into a giant entertainment and amusement zone for the duration of the Olympic Games. The new Olympic Boulevard will stretch about three kilometers, providing a space for visitors to watch all the Olympic action on big screens, enjoy local music, and try local food from a wide variety of food trucks and bars. More than one hundred concerts will take place here, including appearances by well-known Brazilian performers.