The Olympic Games in Rio are starting August 6 th , and remembering how awesome previous years were, we cannot wait to see what the opening ceremony has to offer. While the Olympic Games in Brazil have come under a lot of scrutiny in the lead-up for humanitarian reasons, we are still excited for this celebration of sport and competition. Here are some of the reasons we’re excited about the Olympics:
1. There is a trailer
Yes, this is no joke; there is a thrilling, suspense-filled trailer for the upcoming Olympic Games, and it’s almost scary. Like, we’re on the edge of our seats wondering if someone’s gonna die. But it’s okay, it’s just sport… we think! *fingers crossed*
2. It’s steeped in ancient history
The Olympic Games originally began in Ancient Greece in celebration of Zeus, the Greek god of war, and ran from 776 B.C. until 393 A.D. They ended because they were a pagan festival. It wasn’t until 1894 that they were revived in the form that we know today! So there are mythical and godly forces behind the games. Compelling! Luckily women are allowed to compete in the Olympics now, although it’s worth mentioning that women had games of their own in Ancient Greece in a festival called Heraia, after Hera the wife of Zeus.
3. Refugees get their own team
That’s right, this year refugees will be competing teams of their own. What a great way to honour refugees and asylum seekers who are suffering in limbo every day, and also a great way to draw more attention to this humanitarian crisis, while giving these athletes a space of their own. Inclusion is fundamental to the Olympic Games, so this is really exciting and fitting. Check out the inspiring story of Yusra Mardini, the Olympic swimmer from Syria who had to swim for her life in the Mediterranean.
4. Brazil, Brazil, Brazil
There are so many things to love about the host of this year’s Olympic Games, from the Amazon river and rainforest and the Iguacu Falls, to capoeira martial arts dance and bossa nova music, and don’t forget the barbecues, which are famous in Brazil! If that isn’t mouth-watering and tantalizing enough, there are also scores of beautiful, preserved beaches to enjoy. Even without the Olympics, we want to party in Brazil!
5. A peaceful endeavor
Pierre de Coubertin, the Frenchman who revived the games, hoped that this sporting event would encourage peace between nations. He designed the five rings used to represent the Olympic Games. They stand for Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe, and North and South America.
6. Shine the light
The torch which reaches the Olympics every 4 years is always lit in the same place – Olympia, in Greece. The flame is then passed on from torch to torch until it reaches its final destination, wherever in the world it might be.