Let the games begin!
Whether you call them by their official name – the Games of the XXXI Olympiad – or the more commonly-known 2016 Summer Olympics or Rio 2016, these international competitions start this Friday, August 5, and run through Sunday, August 21!
The Olympic Games originated in ancient Greece 3,000 years ago. The first modern Olympics was held in Athens in 1896 and featured 280 participants competing in 43 events. Since 1994, the Summer and Winter Olympic Games have been held separately and alternate every two years.
In 2016, more than 10,500 athletes from 206 National Olympic Committees will participate in 28 Olympic Sports with 41 disciplines and 306 events. (See below for a full list of the 2016 Summer Olympic sports!)
Olympic Rings madeAccording to Olympic.org: The Olympic symbol expresses the activity of the Olympic Movement and represents the union of the five continents and the meeting of athletes from throughout the world at the Olympic Games. (These rings are made from Q-BA-MAZE cubes!)
2016 Summer Olympics Fun Facts
- The torch relay began on May 3 in Brasília, the capital of Brazil, and will visit more than 300 Brazilian cities before ending in Rio de Janeiro, lighting the cauldron during the 2016 Summer Olympics opening ceremony on August 5.
- New games for the 2016 Summer Olympics include Golf and Rugby 7s.
- In addition to the National Olympic Committees participating, two independent teams will also participate: a Refugee Olympic Athletes team and an Independent Olympic Athletes team.
- Kuwait was banned and some Russian athletes were suspended from participating in the 2016 Summer Olympics.
- The logo for Rio 2016 represents three figures in the colors of the Brazilian flag, joined in an embrace and resembling the shape of the Sugarloaf Mountain.
- The official Olympic mascot is Vinicius, and his counterpart for the Paralympics is Tom. The mascots were created to reflect the diversity of Brazil’s culture and people, and the names were chosen by a public vote.
Want to host your own Olympics?
- Make your own team shirts with the Deluxe Screen Printing Kit
- Decide on a theme:
- Traditional Olympic Games
- Outdoor Fun
- The All Out Fun: Outdoor Classics provides all the essentials you’ll need to host your own outdoor Olympic games! This all-in-one kit introduce kids to time-tested backyard games including Kick the Can, Beanbag Toss, Capture the Flag, Three-Legged Race and much more. The outdoor adventure kit includes a metal can with shaker lid, megaphone, six adjustable waist belts, six flags in two colors, two ropes and connectors, four stakes, six bean bags in two colors and detailed game play instructions for 20 favorite backyard games. (All Out Fun: Outdoor Classics is currently on backorder, but will be in stock soon!)
- Board Games
- Animal Trivia Challenge: Test your animal trivia and knowledge skills as you make your away around the board answering questions that test your ability to name it, know it or rank it, all while avoiding predators and pitfalls! Beginner and advanced playing cards are included for players ages 7 and up.
- Q-Bitz: (Used by Oracle Team USA sailors for brain training!) Speed and dexterity are tested as you puzzle over how to recreate the patterns on the game cards using your own set of 16 cubes. Three fast-paced rounds require different skills each time: quick thinking, lucky breaks and memory muscle power!
- Qwirkle: Strategy is on the line as you compete to mix, match, score and win! MindWare’s best seller is a simple game of matching colors and shapes that requires tactical maneuvers, quick-thinking and a well-planned strategy. Qwirkle combines the game play of Dominoes and Scrabble and is the perfect combination of skill and chance!
- Don’t forget your four-legged friends: Make Your Own Doggy Day Camp or Kitty Day Camp and let them compete against each other!
List of the all sports included in the 2016 Summer Olympics:
- Aquatics (Swimming, Diving, Synchronized Swimming and Water Polo)
- Canoe / Kayak
- Cycling (Track, Road, Mounting Bike and BMX)
- Equestrian Dressage
- Football (Soccer)
- Gymnastics (Artistic, Rhythmic and Trampolining)
- Modern Pentathlon
- Rugby 7s
- Table Tennis
- Track and Field
- Volleyball (Indoor and Beach)
- Wrestling (Freestyle and Greco-Roman)
Find out what to watch when, here.