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Everything You Need To Know About The Rio Olympics

We’ve put together all of the main things that you need to know about the biggest sporting event of 2016.

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The Rio 2016 Olympics are just days away, and the excitement is reaching peak levels ahead of two weeks filled with only the finest quality in sport. Team GB have already made their way to Rio, and athletes are making their final preparations before the games kick off with the opening ceremony on Friday night. To make sure that you're fully prepared for the Games – whether you're jetting off to Rio to watch in style or plan to watch them unfold on your television screen from the comfort of your living room – we've put together all of the main things that you need to know about the biggest sporting event of 2016.

It’s The First South American Games

Back in 2009, Brazil beat Madrid, Tokyo and Chicago to secure their coveted position as a Games host and have been working towards the upcoming fortnight ever since. For the first ever Olympic games held in South America, the action is going to be divided between four different zones: Deodoro, Barra, Maracana and Copacabana, with each zone having their own venue.

Golf Returns to the Olympics

Golfing fans everywhere are looking forward to the 2016 Olympics in Rio more than ever before, for one reason – golf is back after being absent from the Games for 112 years. In preparation for the much-anticipated return of this sport, there has been a brand new 18-hole course built at the Reserva di Marapendi nature reserve, which is located near Rio. If you want to be sure that you don't miss the return of golf to the Olympics, the competitions are scheduled for 11-14 August (men's) and 17-20 August (women's). The CEO of Bookmaker Ratings, Paruyr Shahbazyan, is expecting to see a lot of bets on the outright winner of the golf tournament placed between now and the 14th .

Athletes Pull Out Due to Zika Virus

Pilar Olivares / Reuters

If you're watching the Olympics this year and wondering where some of your favourite faces are, it could be that they've dropped out of competing in the Olympics due to the outbreak of the Zika virus in Brazil recently, a mosquito-borne virus which has symptoms similar to the common cold and can cause horrific birth defects in unborn babies. Tejay van Garderen, a U.S. cyclist, is just one of the athletes to drop out of the Rio Olympics due to the Zika virus, specifically because his wife is currently pregnant. Even though golf is going to be held at the Games for the first time in over a hundred years, plenty of golfers have dropped out due to Zika virus concerns, and leading scientists even suggest that it is 'unethical' for the games to go ahead.

Look Out for the Refugee Team

As a message of hope for all of the refugees in the world, there is going to be a refugee team competing at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. There are ten members of the refugee team, including renowned Syrian swimmer Yusra Mardini, who saved refugees aboard a boat on the way to Greece by swimming for three and a half hours, along with her sister. Although Syria itself has a team competing in Rio these Games, it only has seven members.

The opening ceremony kicks off on Friday night!

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