BARRA – The heart of the Rio 2016 Games
The newly constructed Barra Olympic Park will host 16 sports during the Olympic Games (Photo: EOM)
Barra, with its 15 venues hosting 23 sports, will be the pulsing heart of the Rio 2016 Games. Located in the west of Rio and blessed with a beautiful long beach, the region’s full name is Barra da Tijuca. It will be home to the Barra Olympic Park, a newly constructed 1.18 million square-metre site boasting nine venues and a live site.
“People who have already been to an Olympic Games know that the Olympic Park is an attraction in itself. It’s a place where people from all corners of the world come together,” said Rio 2016 Ticketing Director Donovan Ferreti.
As well as the Olympic Park, Barra is home to the Riocentro convention centre, which will host an array of indoor sports in its four pavilions, plus the Olympic Golf Course and the Pontal outdoor venue
DEODORO – Elegance and Calm meets Fast and Loud
The Whitewater Stadium, one of the most challenging new venues, will leave an important leagcy to Rio’s youth (Photo: EOM)
Equestrian, modern pentathlon and fencing. BMX, mountain bike and rugby sevens. The Deodoro Olympic Park will be the home of the eclectic during the Rio 2016 Games. It will be a place where some of the most traditional, dearly loved sports in the Olympic programme rub shoulders with the newest, the boldest and most radical. It’s set to be a fascinating mix.
The Games’ second largest venue cluster will host 11 different Olympic disciplines. It will also be home to Rio’s first extreme sports park, the X-Park, which will remain as a legacy to the city’s youth after the Games, with a permanent whitewater canoeing course and BMX track.
“Deodoro is blessed with beautiful surroundings, which you find throughout Brazil, and a very wide range of Olympic competitions,” said Mike Laleune, the regional planning manager for Deodoro. “While some of these sports require elegance and calm, like equestrian and shooting, others are fast and loud, like BMX and rugby.”
MARACANA – Iconic venues and Samba spirit
The Maracanã complex features the eponymous stadium, the Maracanãzinho and the Julio de Lamare Aquatics Centre (Photo: Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
With just five venues, the Maracanã zone perhaps seems small compared the Olympic Parks in Barra and Deodoro. But with two of Rio de Janeiro’s most famous landmarks – plus three of the most popular sports, and the opening and closing ceremonies – the region will more than hold its own when the razzmatazz of the Games begins.
The legendary Maracanã Stadium will be the focus of the world on 5 August 2016 when it hosts the Olympic Games opening ceremony, before staging the decisive stages of the football tournaments – including the Brazilian men’s obsessive pursuit of that elusive Olympic gold medal. Volleyball will take place in the neighbouring Maracanãzinho (‘Little Maracanã’), the spiritual home of the sport in Brazil.
The Sambódromo, home of the Rio Carnival Parade, will provide an iconic backdrop for the start and finish of the marathon, plus the archery events. Then there is the Olympic Stadium, where the stars of track field – including a certain Mr Bolt – will seek to etch their names in Olympic history.
“There are many possibilities for fans,” said Craig Holland, the regional planning manager for Maracanã.“You could spend the morning at the Maracanãzinho watching an early session of volleyball, then head to the Olympic Stadium to watch a packed evening session of athletics. You could get a taste of the Sambódromo at an archery session in the morning and then an evening session of water polo at Julio de Lamare. And if you don’t want to spend all day at the venues, you could enjoy some of the city centre’s historical sites, check out the new renovated port area or even find your inner samba in a club in Lapa.”
COPACABANA – Open – air sport and stunning scenery
Fort Copacabana, in the foreground, will host the marathon swimming and triathlon competitions (Photo: Alex Ferro/Rio 2016)
If any neighbourhood in Rio de Janeiro does not need an introduction, it’s Copcabana. Singers have sung about it, film stars have sunbathed on its sands and now the Olympic Games are coming. The region, which will host seven open-air sports alongside some of the world’s most iconic landmarks, is likely to be the base for many visitors who come to the city for the Games.
“Many of Rio’s most famous attractions and some of its best restaurants are in the Copacabana zone, and with competitions taking place there almost every day of the Games, spectators can enjoy the Olympic atmosphere while taking in the scenery,” said Brianne Camilleri, the regional planning manager for Copacabana.
When considering the venue for beach volleyball, there was only ever really one choice – Copacabana beach is the sport’s spiritual home in Brazil. At the other end of the four kilometre-long crescent-shaped bay, jetting out into the Atlantic, is Fort Copcabana – the venue for the triathlon and marathon swimming events, as well as the starting and finishing point for the cycling road race.
The Copacabana zone also features the neighbourhoods of Lagoa and Glória, which will host the rowing and canoe sprint events, and the sailing competitions, respectively. Lagoa Stadium promises to be one of the most spectacular rowing and canoe venues in Olympic history, surrounded by mountains and with the Christ the Redeemer statue gazing down. The sailing will take place on Guanabara Bay, with Sugarloaf Mountain providing the backdrop.
(Photos & Script courtesy of Rio 2016 Official Site)