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The road to Rio 2016

To consider the preparations that Brazil is now making to host the next Olympic and Paralympic Games in four years’ time in the city of Rio de Janeiro (SEAL theme: Going places).

by Tim and Vicky Scott

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)

Aims

To consider the preparations that Brazil is now making to host the next Olympic and Paralympic Games in four years’ time in the city of Rio de Janeiro (SEAL theme: Going places).

Preparation and materials

Assembly

  1. Ask students to describe how hosting the Olympics and Paralympics in the UK made them feel: did they feel proud, excited or perhaps fearful because of a possible terrorist attack?

    Ask if they remember the 2012 Olympic motto (‘Inspire a generation’). Ask if they have been inspired!
  2. Now the Olympics and Paralympics are all over, the baton of hosting the next Games has been passed to a different city in a different country on a different continent.

    Ask if students know when and where the next Games will be held.

    In October 2009 the International Olympics Committee (IOC) announced Rio de Janeiro as the city to host the 2016 Games, beating the other shortlisted cities: Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo.

    This will be:

    –  the first Olympics and Paralympics in history to be held in South America
    –  the second in Latin America (after Mexico City)
    –  the third Games held in the southern hemisphere (so far, in the southern hemisphere, only Australia has hosted the Games: in Melbourne and in Sydney)
    – the first Games in a Portuguese-speaking country.
  3. Ask pupils what they know about Brazil and Rio and write this down on a whiteboard or flip chart. (You may wish to project some photos of Rio de Janeiro: see ‘Preparation  and materials’.)
  4. The largest sporting event in the world is rather like Dr Who! How? Every four years it morphs into a similar but very different animal. One reason for the difference is that different countries and cultures place their own stamp on the event.

    Brazil has vowed to make the next Games even better than London. Its tourist board has already launched a global advertising campaign to exploit the country’s hosting not only of the Olympic Games but also of another big event – can any of you guess? (The World Cup)

    When will the World Cup take place? (2014).

    The Brazilian advertising campaign is titled ‘The world meets in Brazil. Come to celebrate life’. So, would any of you like to visit Rio in summer 2016? (Ask for a show of hands!)

    Ask the students to think about what they will be doing in four years’ time (starting a career, travelling, studying at university, doing an apprenticeship, finishing school).
  5. Already Rio has a logo for the next Games encapsulating a new font design (if possible, show the official Rio 2016 Olympic website as a screenshot). Show how the logo design reflects some of Brazil’s landmarks – the symbol of three figures in yellow, green and blue (the colours of the Brazilian flag) ‘embraced at the arms in a triple hug’ is meant to represent Sugarloaf Mountain. The logo was designed by Rio-based advertising agency Tatil.

    The Rio Games also has a motto. Ask if any students know the motto for the Rio Games (‘Live your passion’).
  6. A second reason for differences in succeeding Games is that the IOC itself makes decisions to introduce changes.

    On 9 October 2009 the IOC voted to include rugby sevens and golf on the programme for the Games in Rio, beating baseball, softball, karate, squash, wake boarding and roller sports, which all hoped to be included. Ask the students what they would have put in.

    In August 2011, the President of the 2016 Olympic Committee agreed to include beach football in the 2016 Games.

    In May 2012, the International Sailing Federation announced that windsurfing would be removed from the 2016 Olympic sailing programme and replaced by kite surfing. Ask if anyone has ever tried that!
  7. Preparing to host a big event such as the Olympics entails a lot of people with many different skills devoting over four years of their lives to making the event a success.

    Ask the students to list the skills that are needed (for example, project management, marketing, logistics, event management). Perhaps some of you may choose a career in one of these areas?

Time for reflection

In a farewell speech to a group of fellow Christians, the apostle Paul said, ‘If only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace’ (Acts 20:24, New International Version of the Bible).

Paul had had a life-changing encounter with the risen Lord Jesus Christ, and devoted the rest of his life to telling others about God’s goodness revealed in his sending Jesus Christ to make forgiveness and a new start possible for all of us.

As a Christian, Paul faced many trials and difficulties, but he persevered, like any top athlete, keeping his eyes focused on completing the work God had for him to do.

Throughout the centuries since his death, Paul’s words and deeds, recorded in the New Testament, have been used by God to transform millions of lives.

In this Olympic year of 2012 and in the coming years on the road to Rio 2016, what preparations do you think you need to make for your future dreams and plans?

Prayer

Dear Lord,

thank you for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics,

which have helped to inspire the nation.

We pray for those in Brazil organizing the 2016 Games

and also the World Cup in 2014.

Ahead of them there is a lot of hard work.

Help us to focus on completing the plans you have for our lives,

over the next month, the next one, two, three and four years and beyond.

Amen.

Music

Play some of the music that we heard in the 2012 Olympic ceremonies.

Publication date: October 2012   (Vol.14 No.10)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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