Red Stripe Grandstand | Just what do you know about Brazil?
So Brazil's most popular city, Rio de Janeiro, is hosting the Olympics. But just how much do you know about the city that will be home to the world's greatest athletes and command the attention of the planet for the duration of the Games?
Here are a few things to know about the place:
- Around six million tourists visit Brazil every year (yeah, that's not a lot, considering the country's population is more than 200 million). Anyway, half of those who visit the country stay in Rio.
- They are considered to be some of the most dangerous communities on the planet, but Rio de Janeiro's shanty towns, or favelas, are also among the top tourist attractions in the city. Some have been visited by celebrities such as Michael Jackson, Beyonce and Madonna.
- The iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro was damaged by a lightning strike recently, and reports have suggested that repairs could make it darker because of a shortage of replacement stones. It is struck by lightning two to four times per year.
- Rio de Janeiro is named after a river that does not exist. The first Portuguese explorers were said to believe that the spot where they arrived was the mouth of a river. They named the area Rio de Janeiro, 'River of January'.
- Street art is legal in Rio de Janeiro. That will explain all the graffiti and painting seen around the city. Street artists are allowed to paint columns and walls and many city properties.
- Rio de Janeiro was once the capital of the Portuguese Empire.
- The stars on the Brazilian flag represent the sky over Rio on the night of November 15, 1889, the date of the proclamation of the Brazilian republic.
- The 'Brazilian waxing' trend was started on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro.
So there, now you're up to speed.