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11 fascinating facts about Rio De Janeiro ahead ahead of the Olympics

11 fascinating facts about Rio De Janeiro ahead ahead of the Olympics
Images: Pixabay
Rio is the first South American city to host the Olympic Games

There’s so much to love about Rio De Janeiro – the vibrant host city of this year’s Olympic Games, taking place from 5-21 August.

Ahead of tonight’s Opening Ceremony at Maracana Stadium, we count down 11 cool facts and figures about The Marvellous City, known for sensational samba, stunning summits and absurdly sexy locals…

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1 Rio is the first South American city to host the Olympic Games

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2 The city is commonly mistaken for being the capital of Brazil – in fact, it’s been Brasilia since 1960

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3 The population of Rio is 6.32 million; some 11-13 million people live in the total metropolitan area

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4 According to a 2009 survey, 14.3% of the city’s population identify as LGBTI

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5 Despite its mammoth size, it’s still only Brazil’s second largest city – the biggest is Sao Paulo with 11 million inhabitants (the metropolitan area is 19,000,000)

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6 Despite its reputation for violence, Rio has a lower murder rate than Compton, Detroit and St. Louis, according to Forbes

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7 Rio covers a landmass of 1,255 km²

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8 Rio De Janeiro means ‘river of January’ because Portuguese explorers mistook its beautiful coast as the mouth of a river in the 15th century

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9 The iconic Christ the Redeemer is the fifth largest statue of Jesus in the world, at 38m tall

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10 The equally iconic Sugar Loaf Mountain, meanwhile, is 396m tall

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11 Rio’s annual carnival is the biggest in the world, attracting 2 million attendees every year

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