Rio 2016 Olympic Games emblem is launched during the Copacabana Beach New Year's Eve party

Two million toast the symbol of the greatest sport event in the world for the first time in Latin America

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Foto: Thor Unamar
Foto: Thor Unamar

The new Rio 2016 Olympic Games brand was unveiled on Friday, December 31, at Copacabana Beach in front of almost two million people, as part of the Brazilian city’s popular New Year’s Eve celebrations. The brand translates the Olympic spirit and the nature, feelings, and aspirations of the athletes, Rio and the cariocas. Different countries, athletes and peoples are joined in a warm embrace – in an individual and collective move, which at a second glance, reveals one of Rio’s most beautiful icons, a vibrant Sugar Loaf, radiating joy, unity, celebration, and friendship.

“The Rio 2016 Games brand communicates passion and transformation. The passion cariocas and Brazilians, in general, have for sport and celebration. And the transformation the Games are already bringing to Rio and Brazil”, said the President of the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee Carlos Arthur Nuzman, underlining that the brand was designed as a sculpture, which also allows it to be displayed in three dimensions (3D).

The winning brand design was created by Tátil, a Rio de Janeiro design agency, selected from eight finalists, after a five-month selection process that initially involved 139 agencies.

The Rio 2016 Games brand was displayed to the public on four big screens set up on the sands of Copacabana Beach: a giant 154m² LED screen, and three inflatable ones, arranged along the shoreline. The public reacted immediately with a huge round of applause. Messages of praise and encouragement were sent from mobile phones through a popular social media platform with the hashtag #Rio2016, and shown on the big screen.

From a platform, strategically positioned in front of the LED screen, the President of the International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge, the Chair of the IOC’s Coordination Commission for the Rio 2016 Games Nawal El Moutawakel, the IOC´s Director for the Olympic Games Gilbert Felli, Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes and Rio 2016 President Carlos Arthur Nuzman.

After the launch ceremony on the beach, the authorities in attendance experienced the first ever 3D performance of the Rio 2016 emblem, as a living sculpture of light and movement inside a specially designed theatre in the Copacabana Palace Hotel. The 3D experience is part of the volumetric concept of the brand, which is presented as a hug. Some animations and videos have been especially produced to give the audience a hospitable feeling when enjoying the 3D experience."

Following the unveiling President Rogge commented: “I would like to congratulate the Rio team for their choice of design for the Rio 2016 emblem, which I find very innovative and creative. It truly reflects Rio and Brazil’s vision for these Games, Brazilian’s passion for sport, and the coming together of different cultures around one project – the Olympic Games.” He continued, “Tonight, we saw Rio at its most passionate with millions of people gathered on Copacabana beach. This is a taste of the atmosphere that I’m sure athletes and spectators can expect in 2016 and a feeling that I’m sure the new symbol will help communicate far and wide. I think that all of Brazil should be proud of their new emblem and I for one look forward to seeing it become a key part of Brazil and Rio’s Olympic story.”

IOC Coordination Commission Chair Nawal El Moutawakel added: “The choice of an emblem for a host city is a crucial decision because it sets the tone and becomes the ‘face’ of those Games forever. I would therefore like to congratulate Rio 2016 on their selection because I believe that they have been able to perfectly capture their vision, and the emotion of Rio and Brazil, in their new logo. I have no doubt that it will become one of the world’s most recognisable brands over the coming few years and that it will help spread Rio’s message of passion and transformation across the planet.”

Music and sport joined for brand unveiling

The brand unveiling celebration started at 10 pm (Brasília time), when singer Daniela Mercury interrupted her New Year’s Eve celebration show on the main stage and invited Olympic medalist Maureen Maggi and Youth Olympic Games medalist Caio Cézar Fernandes - both long jump (athletics) stars - to represent the future and the present of sport. Other young athletes were also welcomed on stage in a moment that brought together various sporting generations.

Three videos were then shown with the first video taking the crowd back to October 2, 2009, when Rio was elected as the host city of the 2016 Olympic Games. This was followed by a film presenting Caio Cézar Fernandes, and, finally, a high impact clip that was used to unveil the new emblem to the expectant audience.

The New Year’s Eve revelers on Copacabana Beach were also able to get in on the act, as three large 1,200m² flags displaying the new brand were then unfolded over the crowd, recalling the celebrations following Rio’s election as host city. 


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