Rio Summer Olympics by the Numbers

Once again, the Summer Olympics are upon us. In sharp contrast to the usual “bigger is better” mantra, this year’s edition is scaled back to have an emphasis on sustainability. In fact, the Games themselves have a projected carbon footprint of zero. How did Rio manage to put together such a spectacular event while keeping green practices at the forefront? While 3.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide will be generated throughout the Games, 2 million tonnes will be mitigated through technology employed by the IOC and the remaining 1.6 million tonnes will be mitigated by local state and municipal initiatives. 80% of the material used to construct temporary offices can be re-used due to its modular nature and, while 17 million tonnes of solid waste will be generated over 16 days of Olympic events, this is equivalent to only 2 days’ worth of public trash for Rio de Janeiro.

There were concerns leading up to the Olympics that the athletics would be overshadowed by the threat of contracting Zika virus, but thanks to Brazil’s effective precautions, Zika cases are now down 90% since March 2016. Rio’s green practices are also highlighted through its symbolic gestures of having each athlete plant a tree’s seed for the Olympic Village and bucking the trend of “bigger is better” for the Olympic Cauldron. Now just how do the rest of the numbers add up in 2016? Replete with all the athletes, medals, and showmanship you can handle, Rio is sure to dazzle:

11,040 – Athletes competing for…
4,924 – Medals in…
306 – Events between…
206 – Countries participating in…
34 – Different sports.
25 – Lifetime Olympic medals accrued by Michael Phelps – a world record. 21 are gold medals.
9 – Gold medal count for Usain Bolt (5-way tie for second-most gold medals).

93,000 – Number of employment opportunities created by the Olympics in Brazil.
6 – Percentage wage gender gap between male and female Olympic employees (Brazil’s overall wage gap is 38.5%).
70,000 – Volunteers assisting during the 16 day event.

14,000,000 – Number of meals served during the Olympic Games.
6,000,000 – Tonnes of food required to prepare the meals.
100 – Percentage of fish and seafood that is certified.
0 – Percentage of meat sourced from designated deforestation areas.

7,400,000,000 – Expected costs in Brazilian Real for hosting the Games.
7,400,000,000 – Expected income in Brazilian Real for hosting the Games.
6,000 – Hours of television programming.
3,600,000,000 – Number of expected viewers world-wide.
500,000 – Travellers to Rio from August 5-21st.
7,500,000 – Event tickets for sale.
235,000 – Hotel rooms rented out.
55,336 – Gallons of liquid hotel amenities going to waste because of hotels throwing away unfinished little plastic bottles.
5,666,391 – Number of plastic bottles that would be prevented from entering the ocean or landfills over just 16 days if every Rio de Janeiro hotel used shower Dispensers.

Enjoy the feats and spectacle; it happens only once every four years!




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