Games Summary:

Games of the XXXI Olympiad

History was made in 2016 when Rio de Janeiro, Brazil hosted the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, marking the first time that a South American country welcomed the world to an Olympic Games.

It was also just the third time that the Games were held in the southern hemisphere, following Melbourne 1956 and Sydney 2000. The Games officially opened on August 5, continuing through August 21. There were two additions to the sports program, as golf returned to the Games for the first time in 112 years and rugby sevens made its Olympic debut.

RELATED: Full list of sports and disciplines for Rio 2016

Canada had an extremely successful Games, winning 22 medals to match the country’s best ever total at a non-boycotted Games from Atlanta 1996. Included in the Rio haul were four gold medals, Canada’s highest number since the seven at Barcelona 1992.

Canada's Penny Oleksiak holds up her gold medal after her first-place finish in the women's 100m freestyle finals during the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Friday, Aug. 12, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Swimmer Penny Oleksiak made history on numerous fronts. In winning four medals, she became Canada’s most decorated athlete ever at one summer Games. She also tied the great Victor Davis as Canada’s most successful Olympic swimmer all-time. By winning gold in the 100m freestyle at just 16 years and 59 days, Oleksiak became Canada’s youngest ever Olympic champion. It was also Canada’s first gold medal of Rio 2016.

Women's 4X100m Freestyle Relay Team, Rio 2016, August 6, 2016. COC Photo/Mark Blinch

Oleksiak wasn’t the only swimmer to find her way onto the podium, as Canada captured six medals in the pool, its third-best total all-time behind the 10 at the boycotted Los Angeles 1984 and the eight in home water at Montreal 1976. Oleksiak anchored both the 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle relays to bronze and also won silver in the 100m butterfly. With relay teammate Taylor Ruck, they became the first ever Olympic medallists born in the 21st century. Kylie Masse and Hilary Caldwell added bronze medals in the backstroke events. In all, 11 of the 19 female pool swimmers that Canada sent to Rio came home with hardware after a 20-year medal drought.

Derek Drouin wins gold I'm the Rio 2016 high jump competition.

Canada also won six medals in athletics, the country’s best total since the nine won at Los Angeles 1932. High jumper Derek Drouin became Canada’s first Olympic champion in a field event since those Games, winning gold with a clean sheet, just the sixth high jumper to ever do so in Olympic history. Andre De Grasse became the first Canadian track athlete to ever win three sprint medals, taking silver in the 200m and bronze in both the 100m and 4x100m relay. Canada was also the only country to win medals in both combined events, as Brianne Theisen-Eaton and Damian Warner won bronze in the heptathlon and decathlon, respectively.

Rio 2016: MacLennan wins trampoline gold

There was also history made on the trampoline, as Rosie MacLennan became the first trampolinist to win back to back Olympic gold medals. Her victory also made her the first Canadian woman to win two gold medals in an individual event at the summer Games and the first Canadian athlete to successfully defend an Olympic title at the summer Games.

Rio 2016: Erica Wiebe (Women's 75kg Wrestling)

Erica Wiebe became Canada’s third ever Olympic champion in wrestling with her victory in the 75kg weight class. The country earned just one medal on the water, as rowers Lindsay Jennerich and Patricia Obee claimed silver in the lightweight double sculls.

Canada had its first multi-medal Games in team sports since St. Louis 1904. The women’s rugby sevens team captured bronze in their inaugural Olympic tournament while the women’s soccer team won its second straight bronze medal.

Benfeito and Filion pose with their medals after winning a bronze in the 10m platform synchro dive. (photo/Jason Ransom)

There were a pair of bronze medals from the diving tank, as Meaghan Benfeito teamed with Roseline Filion to reach the podium for the second straight Games in the 10m synchro event before winning a solo bronze in the individual 10m platform.

In cycling, Canada won its second straight bronze medal in the women’s team pursuit on the track, while Catharine Pendrel won bronze for Canada’s third ever Olympic mountain bike medal.

Riding Fine Lady 5, Eric Lamaze took his place as Canada’s most decorated Olympic equestrian by winning his third medal, a bronze in the individual jumping event, which was decided by a six-way jump-off.

Rio 2016: Eric Lamaze with Fine Lady 5 at the Olympic Games on August 14, 2016.

Among the notable international accomplishments, American swimmer Michael Phelps won five medals in Rio, including four gold, to increase his record as the most decorated Olympian of all-time. He now has 23 gold medals for an overall total of 28. Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt secured his unprecedented triple-triple, winning gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay for the third straight Games.

Some of the most inspirational stories came from the first ever Refugee Olympic Team, featuring 10 athletes who had been forced to flee their homelands. South Sudan and Kosovo were represented officially for the first time in Olympic competition, with judoka Majlinda Kelmendi winning gold for Kosovo’s first ever Olympic medal.

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List of Rio 2016 venues

There was a mix of existing, new, permanent and temporary venues for Rio 2016, divided into four distinct zones: Barra, Copacabana, Maracanã and Deodoro.


Visit the Copacabana zone


Visit the Maracana zone


Visit the Deodoro zone

Barra Olympic Park & Athletes’ Village

Visit the Barra zone

The Athletes Village was located in the Barra Zone, which was the heart of the Rio 2016 Games with 15 competition venues as well as the International Broadcast Centre and Main Press Centre. The Barra Zone is in the western part of Rio.

Rio de Janeiro

Rio earned the right to host the 2016 Olympic Games on October 2, 2009, beating Madrid by a vote of 66-32. The city proved itself capable of hosting a multi-sport Games thanks to the 2007 Pan American and Parapan American Games. In 2014 cities all around Brazil, including Rio, hosted the FIFA World Cup, which the country previously played host to in 1950.

(Photo: Rio 2016)

(Photo: Rio 2016)

Brazil is the largest and most populous country in South America, covering more than 8.5 million km sq with approximately 201 million people. The country ranks fifth in the world in both area and population. With nearly 12 million residents, Rio is Brazil’s second-largest city behind Sao Paulo’s approximately 20 million. Native inhabitants of Rio are known as Cariocas.

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The official and most widely spoken language in Brazil is Portuguese. The country gained its independence in 1822 after more than three centuries of colonial rule. Civilian ruled since 1985, today Brazil is South America’s leading economic power.

Rio Beach

Rio is considered to be Brazil’s intellectual and cultural hub. Located in the state of the same name on a southeastern strip of the Atlantic coast, Rio is the most visited metropolis in the southern hemisphere.

Rio runs on Brasilia Time, which like Atlantic Time is one hour ahead of Eastern Time.

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