The famous Copacabana beach hosted a few competitions. I’ve visited both the temporary beach volleyball venue and the triathlon/marathon-swimming venue. Watching sport with your feet in the sand/ocean and a cloudless sky is heaven on earth! (read more)
4. Maracanã Stadium
One of the most impressive stadiums I have ever visited. Two enormous concrete ramps bring visitors to the five different levels. Once inside you can only realize how large this stadium is. The recent renovations haven’t compromised the atmosphere within. (read more)
3. Usain Bolt
I’m a great fan of Usain Bolt. And to be present in the stadium and to see him win his third consecutive Olympic 100m gold medal was for me one of the highlights of the Games. The atmosphere of excitement in the stadium hours before the start, followed by a moment of complete silence, and ending in an explosion of sound at the moment when Bolt crossed the finish line. This was an unforgettable evening. And Bolt is now a true Olympic legend!
2. Rio de Janeiro – Cidade Maravilhosa
Cidade Maravilhosa Cheia de encantos mil Cidade Maravilhosa Coração do Meu Brasil!
– Except of the lyrics of the song Cidade Maravilhosa by André Filho. Nowadays the anthem for the city of Rio de Janeiro.
Translation: Wonderful city Full of thousand charms Wonderful city Heart of My Brazil!
Rio de Janeiro is probably the most beautifully situated city that has ever hosted the Olympics. The Cariocas live in the middle of a spectacular landscape where the ocean meets lavishly green mountains.
1. Gold medal Brazil Men’s Football
Unfortunately, I had to watch the men’s football final in a hotel room. However, for me this is the highlight of the Rio Olympics. I still get goose bumps when I watch the penalty series of this match. The moment that Neymar gave the host nation the much desired (and deserved) gold medal. The nation-wide celebrations showed that this was more than just a medal. It was the first Olympic Football gold medal for Brazil. It was also the revenge for an unsuccessful World Cup on home soil in 2014. And perhaps the most important: the team unified and brought joy to a nation in times of political and economical turmoil.
The major events for 2016 were of course the Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympics. Today and tommorow I’ll share with you my top 10 list of the first Olympic Games in South America. This list consist not only buildings, but also sport moments and everything between. Today we start with positions 10 – 6.
10. House of Switzerland + Japan / Tokyo2020 House
I love visiting National Houses during the Games for their unique atmosphere. Two National Houses really stood out this year;
The House of Switzerland, on the shores of the Lagoa de Freitas, existed out of 3 separate buildings with activities for young and old. Including a temporary ice rink, exhibition, shop, and a restaurant. This National House proved to be very popular among the Cariocas. (read more)
The second National Houses that I enjoyed visiting was the Japan / Tokyo2020 House in the breath-taking Cidade das Artes, designed by Christian de Portzamparc. The exhibition was really informative, showing the best of Japanese culture, food and technology. The house also showed a lot of information about the next summer Olympics in the Japanese capital. (read more)
9. Deodoro Olympic Park
Located far from the other venues, inland in the north. It took an hour by train and a 20 minutes walk to reach the park, but it was worth the effort. Small-scaled, green and a relaxed atmosphere. Deodoro showcased another side of Rio de Janeiro. (read more)
8. Olympic Boulevard
Most of the time overcrowded, but the Olympic Boulevard really brought the Olympics to the city and the people. It was a great idea to put a mini-cauldron on this location. Furthermore there were attractions, sponsor and national houses, and plenty of locations to eat and drink. The moment I enjoyed the most was to watch the “epic basketball thriller” Brazil – Argentina on the live-site near the Museum of Tomorrow (Unfortunately for the Cariocas, Argentina won in double-overtime). (read more)
7. Olympic Tennis Centre
In my opinion, the Olympic Tennis Centre is the best new and permanent venue. An icon at the entrance of Barra Olympic Park. Bright coloured on the outside, intimate and good sightlines inside. (read more)
6. Sambodromo / Carnival
Rio de Janeiro = Carnival. And the Sambódromo is the ultimate carnival venue in the city. During the Games it was one of the old iconic venues, hosting the marathon and archery. A carnival parade entertained the visitors during the marathon. (read more)