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Rio 2016

The 2016 Olympic Games

by Tim and Vicky Scott (revised, originally published in 2012)

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)


To consider the preparations made in Brazil, ready for hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Preparation and materials


  1. Ask the students to think back to when the UK hosted the Olympics and Paralympics in 2012. Ask how it made them feel. Did they feel proud, excited or perhaps fearful that something might go wrong?
    Ask if anyone managed to visit the Olympic stadium to see any of the sports.

  2. Ask if anyone can remember the motto of the London 2012 Olympics. The motto was ‘Inspire a generation’. Ask if any of the students were inspired!

  3. In August 2016, the next Olympic and Paralympic Games will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was back in October 2009 that the International Olympics Committee (IOC) announced Rio de Janeiro as the city to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, beating the other shortlisted cities of Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo.

  4. The 2016 Olympics 2016 will be:
    –  the first Olympic and Paralympic Games in history to be held in South America.
    –  the second Olympic and Paralympic Games to be held in Latin America (after Mexico City).
    –  the third Olympic and Paralympic Games to be held in the southern hemisphere. (So far, in the southern hemisphere, only Australia has hosted the Games, once in Melbourne and once in Sydney.)
    – the first Olympic and Paralympic Games to be held in a Portuguese-speaking country.

  5. Ask the students what they know about Brazil and Rio. You may wish to show some images of famous landmarks in Rio.

  6. 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 Rio 2016 Games even better than the London 2012 Games.

  7. Show the logo for Rio 2016.

    The logo design for Rio 2016 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 design agency, Tátil.

    Show the image of Sugarloaf Mountain.

    The Rio Games also has a motto. Ask if any students know what it is. The motto is ‘Live your passion’.

  8. Alongside the different logo and motto, there will be other differences in the Rio 2016 Games, due to decisions made by the IOC. In 2009, the IOC announced that Rio 2016 would see rugby sevens and golf included in the programme. These beat baseball, softball, karate, squash, wake boarding and roller sports in their bids to be included.
    You may wish to ask the students which of these sports they would have chosen to include.
    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. You may wish to ask if any of the students have ever tried kite surfing.

  9. 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.

  10. As with any successful event, people need to work together towards a common goal. Ask the students to think about the goals they have in their own lives. Do they have the commitment and dedication to succeed? Are there actions they can take to make success more likely?

Time for reflection

In a farewell speech to a group of fellow Christians, the apostle Paul said, ‘My only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the good news 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 God sending Jesus Christ to make forgiveness and a new start possible for everyone.

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.

In this Olympic year of Rio 2016, what preparations do you think you need to make for your future dreams and plans?

Dear Lord,
Thank you for the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics.
We pray that Rio 2016 will be an amazing event.
We ask that you will keep people safe.
Please help people to show good sportsmanship.
Help us to focus on completing the plans you have for our lives.
Thank you that you promise to be with us in everything that we do.


You may wish to play the official London 2012 Olympics theme tune. This can be found at:

Publication date: August 2016   (Vol.18 No.8)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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