With only a few days left to the 2016 Olympics in Rio, you might find that you don’t have much to say about it in conversation and you don’t really know which events to watch. We put together a list of the 10 athletes you should keep an eye on. This will make for some excellent conversation and you’ll instantly feel part of the conversation.
But first, the basics:
When are the Olympic games: 5 – 21 August 2016
Where are the Olympic games: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The logistics: There are 34 competition venues that are clustered in four zones – Barra, Copacabana, Deodoro and Maracanã – and connected by a high-performance transport ring.
What is the mascot: Named after one of Brazil’s most prominent 20th century cultural icons, Vinicius des Moraes, the mascot for the Olympic Games Rio 2016 constitutes a blend of animals native to Brazil, and symbolizes the energy and joie de vivre exuded by the Brazilian people.
10 athletes to watch at Rio 2016
Athlete: Emma McKeon
Emma started swimming competitively at the age of 13, but her first taste of international competition was at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, which she says, provided her with a wealth of experience, and plenty of cherished memories. In 2014 she made her mark at the Commonwealth Games, winning no less than four gold medals and two bronzes, suggesting that she will be a force to be reckoned with in Rio.
Athlete: Izabella Chiappini
Sport: Water polo
Even before she was born, Iza Chiappini seemed destined to become an elite water polo player. The eldest daughter of water polo playing parents for Argentina, her mother even took part in a competition before she realized she was pregnant. Iza is now about to make her Olympic debut at Rio 2016, having already been ranked among the best in the world.
Athlete: Dipa Karmakar
Dipa is the first gymnast from her country ever to qualify for the Olympic games and the first gymnast of either sex from her country to grace the Games since Tokyo 1964. She comes from the small state of Tripura in northeastern India. Karmakar successfully completed the Produnova. A handspring double front vault named after the Russian gymnast Yelena Produnova, it is one of the hardest vaults in the discipline and carries a difficulty rating of 7.0. She is one of only five women to have landed this vault successfully.
Athlete: Simone Biles
This is the first appearance for Simone at the Olympics. She made her first major international appearance as recent as 2013, but she has already achieved a historic record becoming the first female gymnast to win three consecutive world all-round titles and achieve 10 titles in three world championship appearances.
One of the finest players in the world today, Neymar will be the star act in a Brazil side that is heading to Rio 2016 with designs on winning the one major trophy that still eludes the great footballing nation.
Athlete: Henrik Stenson
Fresh from winning the British Open at Troon, the first major win of his career, Sweden’s Henrik Stenson is relishing the opportunity to go for gold at Rio 2016, in the first Olympic Golf Tournament in 112 years.
Athlete: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce
Since becoming the first Caribbean woman to win Olympic 100m gold at Beijing 2008, Shelly-Ann hasn’t looked back. After successfully defending her title at London 2012 in Rio she is aiming to become the first woman to win the event three times in a row.
Athlete: Laura Asadauskaité
A convincing gold medalist in the women’s individual modern pentathlon at London 2012, Laura is hoping to become the first woman to win back-to-back Olympic titles in her sport at Rio 2016.
Athlete: Shakur Stevenson
This bantamweight boxer has enjoyed rapid-fire junior title wins since 2013 including a gold medal at the Youth Olympic Games. Shakur now has his sights on first place at Rio 2016.
Athlete: Ashton Eaton
Reigning Olympic and world outdoor and indoor decathlon champion and world record holder, Ashton has continued to sweet all before him since winning gold at London 2012 and will be a hot favorite to defend his title at Rio 2016.