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…
1 Rio is the first South American city to host the Olympic Games
2 The city is commonly mistaken for being the capital of Brazil – in fact, it’s been Brasilia since 1960
3 The population of Rio is 6.32 million; some 11-13 million people live in the total metropolitan area
4 According to a 2009 survey, 14.3% of the city’s population identify as LGBTI
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)
6 Despite its reputation for violence, Rio has a lower murder rate than Compton, Detroit and St. Louis, according to Forbes
7 Rio covers a landmass of 1,255 km²
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
9 The iconic Christ the Redeemer is the fifth largest statue of Jesus in the world, at 38m tall
10 The equally iconic Sugar Loaf Mountain, meanwhile, is 396m tall
11 Rio’s annual carnival is the biggest in the world, attracting 2 million attendees every year
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