2016 Rio Summer Games Image: Rio 2016 Olympics Committee
Brazilians were ecstatic when it was announced that the 2016 Summer Games will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The metropolis of Rio will host the first ever South American Summer Games in history, and the entire city is busy in preparation. City officials are working on reducing crime rates, building hotels, renovating Rio venues, and building the Rio village. Brazil is also hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and some of the games will be played in Rio, so there is indeed plenty of anticipation in the near future for this beautiful city.
Travelers visiting Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Summer Games will discover a revitalized city. New shops and restaurants are being built downtown and at the port, and the historical buildings around the port are being restored. New landscaping is part of a beautification project to restore the waterfront. As part of the effort to prepare for the Rio Summer Games, city organizers are adding extra capacity onto the city's three airports, as well as installing new rapid-transit lines across the city, which will connect all of the sites for the Summer Games events. There have already been great strides in infrastructure as new highways have been built, and a new subway link is underway, which will connect the tourist area around Ipanema to the Park. New hotels, including a brand new Grand Hyatt and two hotels by the luxury Windsor hotel chain, will be built near the Rio village to accommodate international visitors.
The 2016 Summer Games will be held in the upscale neighborhood of Barra da Tijuca, where several of the Rio venues have already been set up. Brazil hosted the 2007 Pan American Games, so there are already several stadiums and athletic centers that will be renovated for the Rio Summer Games. Maracana Stadium, for example, will be the main center for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2016 Summer Games, and the much-anticipated football finals of the Games. It is currently undergoing extensive renovation. In addition, an impressive new aquatics center will be built for the Games. Some events of the Summer Games will also be held at Copacabana Beach and beautiful Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon.
The Rio Summer Games are anticipated to be green—meaning that environmentally-friendly initiatives have been started to improve the water quality around Rio, and to improve mass-transit services. There has also been an effort to improve the quality of life of people living in the favelas, the shantytowns of Rio, especially as favela tours have become increasingly popular with tourists.
For tourists intending to go to the 2016 Summer Games in Rio, tickets will be on sale about a year before the event. Travelers who want a hassle-free stay in Rio may wish to look into hotel packages that combine tickets to 2016 Rio events with tours of the city (such as the Christ the Redeemer statue and Sugarloaf Mountain), and airport transfers as well as accommodation. You may also wish to consider visiting some of the attractions near Rio, such as the beach town of Buzios or the mountain destination of Teresopolis.
Top image: philippryke (flickr)