Time Out Rio de Janeiro

Largest public event ever

Rio Olympic Games received about 4 million visitors.

The Olympiad is over but leaves as a legacy to Rio de Janeiro a new “landmark”. Over 17 days, the atmosphere in Rio de Janeiro’s Port Area was of celebration, in the city’s new area, which received the largest live site in the history of the Olympic Games. “The success of the event was so great that the Olympic Boulevard eventually became the name of the site.

It is very gratifying to see, after months of work, that the population and the tourists had fun with the attractions, and cheered for every race on the big screens spread across the three kilometers of the event. The public’s excellent receptivity was the best recognition we could have. No one left here without a picture of the “Pira do povo” (the people’s Pyre), the sculpture by American artist Anthony Howe, and of the Ethnicities Wall, by Eduardo Kobra, which entered the Guinness World Records as the world’s largest graffiti mural. These two works of art are a legacy for the city,” says Antonio Pedro Figueira de Mello, Special Secretary for Tourism.

The Olympic Boulevard, a realization of the City Hall, broadcasted the main sports competitions and promoted several events for all cariocas and tourists. During the Rio 2016 Games period, the Olympic Boulevard had three spaces assembled by the city: the largest one took place in Porto Maravilha; another in Madureira Park, in Rio de Janeiro’s North Zone, and the third one at the Miécimo da Silva Sports Center.

In all, between August 5 and 21, the Olympic Boulevard (adding Porto Maravilha, Madureira, and Miécimo) received about 4 million people, and has established itself as the largest public event ever held in the history of the Games.

Affectionately called “Cariocas sweetheart” the Olympic Boulevard became a meeting point for fun, and topped the list of the city’s most visited spots during the Games period*. From Praça XV to Av. Rodrigues Alves, going through the brand new Orla Conde, and the revitalized Praça Mauá, at every step the public interacted with street performers, enjoyed the scenery for taking photos, watched competitions on the six high-definition video screens, and had real fun with the shows performed on the three installed stages.

“We displayed more than 100 hours of sports broadcasting on the big screens. The crowd’s vibration during Brazil’s thrilling victory over Germany; the few seconds of silence to admire Usain Bolt, the phenomenon; and the “Brazil” cries, at each won medal; all this gave the Boulevard the atmosphere of the great arenas,” says Gaetano Lops, Gael Communication CEO, the Live Marketing agency responsible for creating and organizing the event.

The success was so great that Rio’s City Hall has decided to keep the attractions in Port Olympic Boulevard even during the recess period between the end of the Olympiad and the beginning of Paralympic Games. Those who visit the place between August 22 and September 6 will find many street performers, and will be able to enjoy tidbits in the food trucks and bars, in addition to visiting the urban art gallery that resulted from Av. Rodrigues Alves. The Skol Panoramic Balloon will be back as of August 23, for the visiting public to climb to 150 meters, and see downtown Rio from another angle. Moreover, the Casa Brazil will continue open in the pre-Paralympics period, between August 14 and 20.

At the Parque Madureira Boulevard, the highlight was the project Vacation in the Park, which turned the site into a great summer camp for children and yougsters in the region. The kids participated in sports tournaments such as badminton, capoeira, indoor soccer, foot volleyball, judo, skating, and table tennis. Moreover, the public could follow the exciting qualifying rounds of the Passinho de Ouro contest, and enjoy performances by Gabrielzinho do Irajá, and the Baile do Sany Pitbull, among many other attractions.

The Boulevard mounted at the Miécimo da Silva Sports Center, in Campo Grande, also lived its summer camp days, during the period. It received an average of 200 children and young people a day, who were interested in the activities offered in more than 20 sports (including, badminton, table tennis, football, judo, volleyball, and basketball). The action was also intense in the food segment, involving food trucks and bars. However, what attracted people the most public were the shows, especially on the nights when the place got stars like Anitta, Ludmilla, Sorriso Maroto, and Imaginasamba.

Olympic Boulevard in numbers

Total public of 4 million
Over 100 hours of sports broadcast on giant screens
110 hours of musical attractions in all stages
904 street performers, including actors, jugglers, mimes, dancers, and musicians
About 5,200 flights on the Skol Panoramic Balloon
About 65,000 visitors to the Bradesco Seguro’s Museu Itinerante “Se Prepara Brazil” (“Get Ready Brazil” Traveling Museum), (Porto + Madureira)
About 1,150 jumps on the Nissan Bungee Jump #QuemSeAtreve
Approximately 80,000 visitors to Parada Coca-Cola.
More than 20,000 visitors in Nike Rio Sem Limites
More than 85,000 visitors in the Lego Mockup
3,400 photos printed in the Inside Out project
250,000 products sold in about 50 food trucks
500,000 liters of beverages consumed
1 ton of fireworks
64 participants in the Passinho de Ouro contest
320 participants in the Vacation in the Park, in Madureira, in 8 different sports (badminton, capoeira, indoor soccer, foot volleyball, judo, skating, and table tennis)
24 hours of samba at the Encontro de Carnavais
200 children and youngsters per day, on average, participating in over 20 sporting activities offered at the Miécimo da Silva Sports Center, in Campo Grande (badminton, artistic gymnastics, table tennis, football, judo, jujitsu, and gymnastics, among others)

The panel Ethnicities in numbers:

Size 2646.34 square meters
70 days of work, including 45 days for painting, and 25 production days
1,890 liters of white paint for the base
2,800 cans of spray paint

* Source: Research conducted in the first ten days of Olympics with foreign tourists by Ipetur-RJ (Institute for Research and RJ Tourism Studies) and Cesgranrio Foundation, under the coordination of Professor Bayard Boiteux.

Booking for the Skol Panoramic Balloon
Working hours: from 10 am to 10 pm
Working Period: August 23 to September 18, 2016.

To enroll for flying on the Skol Panoramic balloon visit: www.visit.rio/boulevardo olimpico. For entries, CPF numbers are required, with a limitation of four tickets per CPF, per daily booked, and not per lot.
Maximum flight height: 150 m
Children from 12 years onward must be accompanied by an adult/guardian
The balloon flight depends on the weather conditions
The flight is not recommended for people prone to nausea, dizziness, heart problems or other health conditions that may be aggravated by this adventure.
Pregnant women can not participate in this adventure.

Words by Time Out Rio de Janeiro editors

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