Let the Games begin

Starting in August, Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro will host the Olympic and Paralympic Games — the first time a South American nation will host the event. Here are some essential facts.

99: Percent chance of an athlete becoming infected with a waterborne virus after swallowing three teaspoons of water at a Rio venue. Human fecal matter has been measured at levels 1.7 million times beyond what’s considered dangerous in other locales.

5 to 10: Number of international refugees expected to compete under the Olympic flag. More than 14,000 Olympic and Paralympic athletes – as well as 315 horses – will participate in Rio.

102: Countries whose nationals will receive special permission to drive vehicles in Brazil without additional documents during the Games. Half a million tourists are expected to visit.

112: Years since golf last appeared as an Olympic event. Canadian George Seymour Lyon won gold at the 1904 Summer Games in St. Louis.

179: Average percent overrun in costs for Olympic Games from 1968 to 2012. Rio’s budget was pegged at US$13.2 billion in 2015.

520: Millions of dollars (US) cut from the Rio Olympics operating budget in late 2015. Announced amidst a national economic crisis, reductions included eliminating air conditioning in the athletes’ rooms, a decision that was later reversed.

4,120: Families relocated from their homes to accommodate Olympic projects in Rio, according to community activists. Because of the Olympics and Brazil’s 2014 World Cup, 77,206 residents were moved between 2009 and 2015.

About the Author

Steve Brearton


Steve Brearton is a freelance writer in Toronto.

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