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What do great athletes and former athletes from all over the world expect from the Rio 2016™ Olympic and Paralympic Games? The answer is always on the tip of one’s tongue: a great party, with lots of excitement. This way Sports Icons such as British rower Steve Redgrave, US sprinter Michael Johnson, British Paralympian Tanni Grey-Thompson, US swimmer Michael Phelps and young South African champion Chad le Clos summed up the feeling that seems to be global.
Less than a year after London 2012, the British were very excited about the Games first South American edition. Winner of five gold medals in five consecutive Games editions, Redgrave visited Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon and was excited when talking about the sporting venue that will host rowing, sprint canoeing and paracanoeing in 2016.
“It’s a wonderful and impressive scenery. In our sport, we normally compete out of town. We never managed to compete in the heart of town but here in Rio we have the chance to do just that. We will be right in the middle of where the Games take place, with the statue of Christ the Redeemer above the rowers. It will be very, very special from a rower’s point of view, and I’m sure it will be special for spectators as well”, he considered.
Grey Thompson, who won 16 medals in Paralympic Games editions (11 golds), highlighted Rio 2016™’s potential to improve attitudes towards people with disabilities in Brazil. She also said the Games have the power to cause deeper social changes.
“I believe the world expects the Rio Games to be a great party, a massive celebration. When people see Carnival and other things that happen here, they get very thrilled about Rio”, she said.
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