The 2016 Summer Olympics are held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the first time in a South American nation.

05/08/2016View on timeline

The 2016 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXXI Olympiad and commonly known as Rio 2016, was an international multi-sport event that was held from 5 to 21 August 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with preliminary events in some sports beginning on 3 August. These were the first Olympic Games ever to be held in South America and the second to be held in a developing country, after the 1968 games in Mexico City.

More than 11,000 athletes from 205 National Olympic Committees, including first time entrants Kosovo, South Sudan, and the Refugee Olympic Team, took part. With 306 sets of medals, the games featured 28 Olympic sports, including rugby sevens and golf, which were added to the Olympic program in 2009. These sporting events took place at 33 venues in the host city, and at five separate venues in the Brazilian cities of São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Brasília, and Manaus.

These were the first Summer Olympic Games to take place under the International Olympic Committee (IOC) presidency of Thomas Bach. The host city Rio de Janeiro was announced at the 121st IOC Session in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 2 October 2009. Rio became the first South American city ever to host the Olympic Games. These were the first games to be held in a Portuguese-speaking country, the first summer edition to be held entirely in the host country's winter season, the first since 1968 to be held in Latin America, and the first since 2000 to be held in the Southern Hemisphere.

The lead-up to these Games was marked by controversies, including the Brazil's political and economic crisis; the Zika virus epidemic and the significant pollution in the Guanabara Bay; and a doping scandal involving Russia, which affected the participation of its athletes in the Games. However, nobody competing in or attending the Olympics contracted the Zika virus and the Games took place normally, without any major incident.

The United States topped the medal table, winning the most gold and overall medals, 46 and 121, as well as its 1,000th Summer Olympic gold medal overall. Great Britain finished second and became the second country of modern Olympics history to increase its tally of medals in the subsequent games after being the host nation. China finished third. Host country Brazil won seven gold medals, its most at any single Summer Olympics, finishing in thirteenth place. Bahrain, Fiji, Jordan, Kosovo, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Tajikistan, Ivory Coast and Vietnam each won their first gold medals, as did the group of Independent Olympic Athletes (from Kuwait).

Games of the XXXI Olympiad

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Published in 20/05/2019

Updated in 19/02/2021

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