Summer Olympics Take on Rio, Brazil!
It feels like just yesterday that we were all cheering on our favorite Olympians as they competed at Olympic Park within East London. And with a blink of an eye, here we are again – four years later and the torch is burning bright in the eternal-vacationland setting of Rio de Janeiro.
That’s right! The Summer 2016 Olympics have arrived in Brazil and will be taking place in the tropical land of samba and caipirinha (delicious Brazilian cocktails). Rio offers the perfect conditions and environments for Olympic athletes to compete in the games, but more importantly, it offers beautiful beaches, people and weather as its backdrop for viewers and visitors alike.
To say we are excited is an understatement. We’re ecstatic at the idea of watching some Olympians try to finish their career in a blaze of glory while others begin their own Olympic journeys in the summer games to come!
While I can’t really tell you where or how to watch these games since the choices are really up to you, I can make some recommendations for what to look out for if you decide to tune in to the games during primetime this August. Read our short list below to see what some of my personal highlights will be for Rio.
RIDING OFF INTO THE SUNSET
Rio 2016 will be an extra special game to watch this time. And no, it’s not because of that beautiful backdrop. The Olympics this year will feature several Olympians who may wind up retiring after this game. Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps, both are highly decorated gold medalists who will try to bring home the gold one more time each before retiring.
Will they be able to do it? Does this all sound like a cliché plot line to a cheesy 80’s sports movie? The answer to all of the above is a probable yes.
Speaking of clichés, both the U.S. Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams will be attempting to win it all one last time too. Several players on the women’s team will be retiring after Rio, including Sue Bird and Tamika Catchings. Coach Krzyzewski of the men’s basketball team will be retiring after he helped to reform the team and guided them to capturing a few gold medals. Can Team USA give good ‘ole Coach K a third straight gold medal before he turns the team over next year to the next coach? Can you here ‘Eye of the Tiger’ playing somewhere in the distance or is that just me?
The New Era
Keep an eye out for returning gold medalist Gabby Douglas as she returns a second time to break the record of back-to-back victories in gymnastics at the Olympics this year.
Douglas will have to share the spotlight though with another decorated gymnast from the U.S. who’s looking to outdo her and capture her own gold medal. Meet Simone Biles, who will be returning to the games for Rio 2016 and looking to kick some butt.
Speaking of kicking butt…Katie Ledecky has gotten older and her skills in swimming have only continued to improve. In 2012, she won the 800-meter freestyle at age 15 and crushed world records, but can she do it again this year? The pressure is on!
Golf, Rugby, Zika, Oh My!
Say hello to golf and rugby, as both sports return to the games once again. Golf returns after a 112-year absence. Though many professional golfers have already pulled themselves from the games due to their concerns of the Zika Virus… so maybe there won’t be golf this year? Sorry golf, maybe next time!
Ruby will return as well after a 92-year absence. Granted, Rio will host the faster-paced form known as Rugby Sevens. Nonetheless, Australia, Great Britain, New Zealand, and South Africa will be jumping into the scrum for those medals.
Coming hot off the heels of an explosive NBA playoff season, it will be interesting to see which all-stars will make the cut for the U.S. Basketball Team. Superstars such as Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Demarcus Cousins will be playing for the red, white and blue on the court. Cue the Star Spangled Banner and Gatorade promos.
This blog wouldn’t be complete either if we didn’t mention the controversy surrounding the games this year. Water pollution, safety concerns, security and the looming threat of the Zika Virus have hung over Rio for the past few months. All eyes will be on Brazil to see if they can keep it together throughout the Olympic games.
I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what to be paying attention to when the games kick off on August 5th, but there is already so much to be excited about. Everything is up for the taking and it will be fascinating to see which countries will come out on top, clutching the gold medals this year. Will you be watching when the torches are lit next month? Everyone at FiRE+iCE will be! You can find me at underFiRE, decked out in the American flag, caked in face paint and screaming obnoxiously at the television screen.