The show goes on.
Text Ian De Cotta Photos (Usain Bolt & Joseph Schooling) Sph - The Straits Times (Michael Phelps) epa
Despite the threat of the Zika virus, the 2016 Olympics will go ahead in Rio de Janeiro this summer. We can’t anticipate which flags will fly high from Aug 5 to 21, but one thing is for sure, the home of carnival, stringy swimwear and bossa nova isn’t about to let the first Olympiad to be held in South America play out without a roar. Here are some intriguing points to whet your Games appetite before the opening ceremony.
US$1 = S$1.35
Estimated number of meals a day that will be prepared to feed the athletes. While they will cater to all cultures, Brazilian staples like rice and black beans and barbecued meat, tapioca, pao de queijo (cheese bread) and acai (an Amazonian fruit and so-called superfood) will take centre stage.
The Rio Games will be the first to feature athletes born in the noughties. Olympic rules state that competitors must be at least 13 years old and they did not qualify for the last edition in London four years ago.
REFUGEES FLY OLYMPIC FLAG
For the first time, refugees who have been forced to flee their countries will compete in the Games under the Olympic flag. Six male and four female athletes from South Sudan, Syria, Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia were given the go-ahead by the International Olympic Committee last month.
cost of the rio games. It is the fourth most expensive edition in olympic history, after the 2014 sochi winter games (us$51 billion), and the 2008 beijing (us$44 billion) and 2004 athens (us$15 billion) summer olympics.
HEROES: FIRST AND LAST STANDS
PHELPS’ LAST LAP
After three straight Olympics from 2004 to 2012 and winning the most Olympic gold medals in history, Michael Phelps is making a last stand in Rio. At 30 years old, he is ancient in swimming terms, but as a newly minted father, the American is aiming to make a big splash in Brazil before retiring for good.
ONE FINAL BOLT
Usain Bolt is the only track athlete to hold the 100m and 200m world records simultaneously, since fully automatic time measurements became mandatory in 1977. He is the fastest man in history and after winning both sprints in 2008 and 2012, the 29-year-old will compete in his last Olympiad in Rio.
SCHOOLING ON THE BRINK
Singapore star Joseph Schooling has a lot riding on Rio. He is the first Singaporean to be granted national service deferment to train for the Olympics. After beating Olympic great Michael Phelps to the gold in the 100m butterfly last month, Schooling is on track to win Singapore’s first Olympic medal in swimming.