The summer Olympics 2016 are under way in Rio de Janeiro and excitement is in the air. The people of Rio are pumped up and prepared to host the 120th Olympic Games. The first ever Summer Olympics program took place in 1896.
The games of that time featured five track events and an 87 km road race from Athens to Marathon and back. Olympic cycling has gradually evolved to include women’s competitions, mountain bike and BMX to arrive at the current eighteen events.
The 2016 Olympics consists of 42 sports, 306 events over a span of19 days. The series of competitions will yield 136 medals for women, 161 for men and nine mixed medals.
There is no doubt that cycling is a sport of endurance, stamina, focus and control. It is extremely physically challenging and to compete in a race at the Olympics (the biggest game in the world) can definitely take its toll on the nerves. But this is what the athletes train for; to take complete control of the immense pressure they are subjected to.
Cycling is basically divided into 4 sub types:
The goal of the cyclist is to complete a set road course in the fastest time. It is nothing but a test of survival and patience. An epic race against the clock. Be it the road race or time trial, road cycling events, Rio’s striking scenery will serve as the perfect backdrop.
Cycling mountain bike:
The goal of mountain bike riders is to compete over an off-road course and swiftly adjust to the tough, varied terrain in order to cross the finish line as 1st place.
This is cycling’s most recent Olympic discipline (debuted at Beijing 2008). BMX is an exhilarating sport which mixes powerful racing, big jumps, leaps and crashes. There are individual events for men and women.Eight cyclists race over an obstacle course, with the winner being the first to cross the finish line.
The cyclists aim to contend to achieve the fastest times on an oval-shaped 250m wooden track. This sport is a blend of speed, strategies – and bikes that have no intention of slowing down any time soon! There are three individual and two team events for men and women.
The venues will be:
- Fort Copacabana in the Copacabana for the start and finish of the road cycling road race
- Pontal for the road cycling time trial competitions
- Rio Olympic Velodrome for track cycling
- Olympic BMX Center for BMX
- Mountain Bike Centrefor mountain biking
Some of the top medalists in the competition are:
He represents Great Britain at the Olympics and World Championships and Scotland at the Commonwealth Games. He has contested in the Cycling Track category and in Olympic Games alone, he has won a total of 6 gold medals and 1 silver.
She represents Australia and is the flag-bearer and team captain for the Australian team at the Rio Olympics in 2016. She has won two golds, one silver and two bronze medals in the Olympic Games.
He is a Latvian professional BMX racer. In the 2008 Summer Olympics he became the first Olympic champion in BMX cycling. He has won two golds.
She is a French professional cyclist, in the BMX category. This enthusiastic 38 year old has won a gold medal in the Olympics as well.
Like the above mentioned distinguished athletes, there are hundreds more who train limitlessly only to come head to head with each other in the dream of winning a medal and make their country proud.
The bottom line is, even if one doesn’t win a medal just to experience that historic moment is a memory that will last a life time.