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February 17, 2012
Sambódromo - first Rio 2016 venue opens

The Sambodromo under construction.Photo/ Rio 2016
by Everton Melo, AIPS/FISU Young Reporter, Brazil
RIO DE JANEIRO, February 17, 2012 - “Sambódromo”, the first venue of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games was reopened last Sunday with a 5,5km street race.

The Marathon and the Archery competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games will be staged in this new venue.

The Sambódromo is one of the best world known tourism destinations in Rio de Janeiro. It is where several samba schools parade during the Brazilian Carnival.

The place was designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer and right after the 2011 Carnival it was closed for refurbishment.

Finished four years before the Games start, costing R$ 35 million and part of the Games budget the new Olympic venue has increased the audience capacity from 60,000 seats to 72,500 seats.

For the reopening event racers ran in carnival costumes to the music of old and new hits of the samba big party.

The bronze medalist in the Athens 2004 Olympic Marathon Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima took part in the celebrations. Vanderlei is retired now and in Athens he received the Pierre de Coubertin medal given by the IOC.

Click here to view the refurbished Sambódromo.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=0sjKBV7bbE8

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