Work on Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic venues well advanced after productive year
City government says 2015 will be ‘the final straight’ as first new venues are finished and more than 20 test events are staged
In 2014, Rio de Janeiro took some major steps towards becoming an Olympic and Paralympic city. At the Barra Olympic Park, which will be the heart of the Rio 2016 Games, the venues have taken shape dramatically, with competition and spectator areas becoming visible. Meanwhile, work begun on the Deodoro Olympic Park, the second largest concentration of Games venues, which will host a fascinating mix of traditional and new Olympic and Paralympic sports in 2016.
On Friday (19 December), the Rio Municipal Government, which is responsible for construction, provided an update on progress and said work would “enter the final straight in 2015”, with the delivery of the first new venues and the staging of more than 20 test events.
Read more for details on progress made on the venues being built for the Rio 2016 Games [www.rio2016.com]
Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic mascots named Vinicius and Tom by public vote
With 44 per cent of valid votes, names pay tribute to Brazilian musicians Vinicius de Moraes and Tom Jobim
The Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games mascots have been named. The Olympic mascot will be called Vinicius and the Paralympic mascot will be called Tom. The names were chosen by a public vote that was conducted over the past three weeks, since the mascots were unveiled. A total of 323, 327 votes were cast.
The names, which received 44 per cent of valid votes, pay tribute to Brazilian musicians Vinicius de Moraes and Tom Jobim. They were part of the group that created Bossa Nova, the musical movement that got the whole world singing about the beauty of Rio de Janeiro. Together, De Moraes and Jobim wrote The Girl from Ipanema, one of the most-played songs of all time.
Vinicius and Tom were chosen ahead of the other two shortlisted pairs of names: Oba and Eba, and Tiba Tuque and Esquindim. Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman said the public had chosen names that reflect the character of the Rio 2016 Games. “The names of Vinicius and Tom are recognised worldwide as a synonym for excellence, which is in line with what we want to achieve with the Rio 2016 Games,” he said. “In addition to representing the Brazilian fauna and flora, our mascots also connect to the best of our music. We are certain that they will be an inspiration to the youth.”
Rio 2016 Brand Director Beth Lula said: “The choice of the names Vinicius and Tom adds even more ‘Brazilianness’ to our mascots, which are ambassadors of the Games. Their role is to share the messages of the event and the values of the Olympic and Paralympic movements with various audiences, especially children and youth.”
The origin of the Rio 2016 mascots blends fiction and reality. According to the story, on 2 October 2009, when Rio de Janeiro was elected to host the Games, the great explosion of joy amongst Brazilians was felt by nature and from this energy the mascots were born.
Vinicius, the Rio 2016 Olympic Games mascot, represents all of the different animals in Brazil. He combines the agility of cats, the sway of monkeys and the grace of birds. He can stretch his arms and legs as much as he wants and has a very acute sense of smell and amazing powers of hearing
Tom, the Paralympic mascot, is a fusion of plants found in Brazilian forests. He is energised by photosynthesis and can pull any object from his head of leaves. He is always growing and overcoming obstacles, and believes there is no challenge that cannot be solved. Find out more about where the mascots came from and who they are by clicking here.