The Olympics commenced on the 5th August and lasts for two weeks, concluding on the 21st August. Occurring every four years, the Olympics contain a wide array of sports, including swimming, equestrian, hockey and archery. This year, it is hosted in Rio de Janiero; the city seems to have provided state of the art facilities for competition, most notably an outdoor swimming pool and a beach volleyball stadium located on the Copacabana seafront.
The Olympics is the second largest viewed sporting event in the world, with the Beijing Olympics drawing in a viewing audience of 600 million people. The Olympics may be seen by athletes as the most competitive and important competition, and as such it seems they may need to challenge for medals and a high finish. It also may be one of the only opportunities for athletes from any country, and any background, to compete on an even playing field; this seems to have occurred thus far, with countries with large funding, such as the USA, competing with countries which may have one athlete.
Athletes from Team GB seem to have found success in their chosen events. In swimming, Adam Peaty took the gold medal in the men’s 100m breaststroke, and seemed to win the race comfortably; prior to the Olympics, he held the world record for this event at a time of 57.92 seconds. He won his heat, recording a faster time of 57.55 seconds, before going on to shave further time off of the world record, taking the gold at 57.13 seconds. In Rugby Sevens, Team GB’s ladies team progressed to the semi-finals, with eventual silver medallists New Zealand. They seemingly won their first four games convincingly, scoring over 22 points in every one, including a 40-0 victory over Japan. The men’s team may also challenge for a medal, opening their quest for gold with a 31-7 victory over Kenya in the group stages.
Other athletes in Team GB seem to have also found success. Dan Goodfellow and Tom Daley won the bronze medal in the men’s synchronised 10m platform, with their final dive giving them a 89.64 score, which was enough to edge the German duo to the podium. In tennis, current Wimbledon champion Andy Murray may be the favourite for the gold medal, as he is now the highest ranked player left in the competition, after Juan Martín Del Potro’s victory over world number one Novak Djokovic. Additionally, he has won both of his matches in straight sets; he may go on to win the tournament if he continues to perform as convincingly as he seemed to in the opening rounds. Perhaps the success of British athletes in Rio may motivate young sportspeople to strive to be an Olympian, and reach the top of their sport.
The most famous athlete in the world seems to be Usain Bolt, who has over 21.5 million followers on Facebook and Twitter, more than any other athlete in the world; this amount also places him in the top 20 most followed sportsmen in the world. With Bolt involved in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay, he may be looking to replicate the form that has so far won him six Olympic gold medals at London and Beijing. Other successful athletes, including Kenyan 800m runner David Rudisha, and reigning GB Olympic champions Jessica Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah, are still to compete. These athletes may end up winning gold, and thus prove that British athletes are able to compete with the best athletes from around the world.
The vast amount of sport available to watch over the two weeks may result in viewers being able to watch their favourite sports. Ultimately, Rio has seemingly been a successful host city, with the completed facilities hosting competitive and interesting contests for medals. With Team GB having recorded four medals thus far, the athletes seem to be thriving in Rio, and with other accomplished athletes including Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah and Nicola Adams still to compete, the medal tally for GB in Rio may exceed the 65 medals won at London 2012.
What events in the Olympics may team GB find success?