As Visa counts down the 100 days to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, we’re sharing 10 facts you might not know about this summer’s host city. Come August 5th, the world’s best athletes will unite and celebrate the start of the Olympic Games in a city that embodies the welcoming spirit of acceptance, a value that Visa and Team Visa athletes hold dear. Get to know Rio right here.
1. Rio de Janeiro is South America’s first Olympic Games host city.
2. Rio is the second largest city in the largest country in South America. (Sao Paulo is the first.)
3. Rio de Janeiro means River of January—a river that doesn’t actually exist. (Portuguese explorers may have confused Rio’s Guanabara Bay for the mouth of a river, according to local legend.)
4. Cariocas, as Rio natives are called, speak Portuguese—but don’t be surprised to hear some 235 other languages spoken in Rio and throughout Brazil.
5. Rio’s nickname is Cidade Maravilhosa, or Marvelous City.
6. Rio is host to the world’s largest Carnival festival, which rings in the 40-day period of Lent.
7. Rio’s most famous beaches are Ipanema, which inspired the well known bossa nova song, and Copacabana, which will host the Olympic Games competitions of beach volleyball, marathon swimming and triathlon.
8. Golf and rugby will return as Olympic sports at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games after a gap of 112 and 92 years, respectively.
9. The Rio 2016 Olympic Games will be the first to feature Olympians born in the year 2000.
10. As a TOP Sponsor, Visa is the only payment card accepted at Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. For more travel spending tips, look for Visa’s Money Tips Checklist.