Monday August 3rd, 2015

The 2016 Summer Olympic Games will be held from Aug. 5-21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. All sports will be held across 33 different venues throughout the Barra, Copacabana, Deodoro and Maracanã regions of the city. Maracanã Stadium, which hosted the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final, will be the site of the opening and closing ceremonies on Aug. 5 and 21. 

Here are the events and athletes to watch for the first week of the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Friday, Aug. 5​

Opening Ceremony: The celebration begins with opening and welcoming speeches, the Parade of Nations and final leg of the Olympic torch relay before the Olympic cauldron is lit at Maracanã Stadium. Olympic organizers have already revealed the design for the 2016 Olympic torch, but the final torch bearer (or multiple bearers – as has been the case since the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver) remains a mystery.

Saturday, Aug. 6

Swimming: In London, the Australian women's 4x100-meter freestyle relay set a new Olympic record with their victory as the United States took bronze in American-record fashion. The Australians have since lowered the world record to 3:30.98 at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. 

Sunday, Aug. 7

Swimming: After stunning the world in 2012, Katie Ledecky returns to the Olympics with eight world records to her name. Ledecky will go for gold in the 400-meter freestyle, an event in which she did not compete at the 2012 Games. Michael Phelps may also compete in the men's 4x100-meter freestyle relay, which would mark his fifth Olympic team. France took gold in the men's relay in 2012, and the United States took silver.

Monday, Aug. 8

Gymnastics: China goes for the three-peat in the men's team all-around event. China has either won gold or silver in five of the last six Olympics. The United States finished fifth overall in 2012.

Rugby: In 2016, rugby medals will be handed out at the Olympics for the first time since the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris. The sport returns in a format where seven players are on the field as opposed to the classic 15. 

Swimming: After a season-ending injury in 2013 and moving to Charlotte to work under coach David Marsh, Ryan Lochte has returned to form and hopes to medal in the 200-meter freestyle after finishing fourth in London. Missy Franklin swam an American record in the women's 100-meter freestyle en route to gold in 2012 and could return to defend her title in 2016. 

Tuesday, Aug. 9

Gymnastics: The 2012 Games saw the United States' Fab Five take gold in the women's all-around team competition, but will there be a repeat? Only the Soviet Union (1952-1980) and Romania (2000 - 2004) have won consecutive golds.

Swimming: Will Missy Franklin and Katie Ledecky face off in the Olympics in the 200-meter freestyle? It could happen.

Wednesday, Aug 10

Cycling (road): 2015 Tour De France winner Chris Froome (GBR) aims to continue his dominance atop the podium after taking bronze in the men's time trial in London. He'll face compatriot Bradley Wiggins, who became the first man to win the Tour de France and Olympic gold in the same year. Since 2012, Froome has since won two Tour de France titles, and Wiggins set a new world record for the hour ride at 33.881 miles. 

Thursday, Aug, 11

Judo: 2014 World Champion Mayra Aguiar of Brazil will look to take gold in front of her home crowd and dethrone U.S. Olympic champion Kayla Harrison. Whoever wins may be a name to remember, as Ronda Rousey got her start as a bronze medalist in the sport before becoming an MMA star.

Gymnastics: Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas could become the first American women to take gold and silver in the individual all-around since Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson accomplished the feat. Douglas is the defending Olympic champion, while Biles has won the 2013 and 2014 World Championship gold medals.

Golf: The sport tees off in the Olympics for the first time since 1904 with the men's competition.

Rugby: The United States has an outside chance of medaling in the sport's return to the Olympic program. Australia, Fiji, Great Britain, New Zealand and South Africa are considered favorites for three podium spots. Fiji has never won an Olympic medal and only sent nine competitors for six sports in 2012.

Swimming: Ryan Lochte could look to improve upon the 200-meter individual medley where he took silver 2012.

Friday, Aug. 12

Shooting: American Kim Rhode won gold in 2012 after winning silver in 2008. She'll try to hold onto her gold medal in Rio in the women's skeet.

Swimming: Should Michael Phelps compete in his final Summer Olympics, the men's 100-meter butterfly swim could be his individual swan song – again. Phelps will be 31 in Rio and has been crowned champion in the event at every Summer Games since his 2004 Olympic record in Athens.

Track and field: Women's 10,000-meter Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba (ETH) looks to return to the sport and defend her gold medal from 2012. The world record holder did not compete during the 2015 season after giving birth to a new son.

Saturday, Aug. 13

Tennis: Serena Williams shares the tennis record of four Olympic golds with her sister Venus and looks to become the first woman to repeat as singles Olympic champion. The U.S. has won five of the twelve contested Olympic gold medals in women's singles.

Track and field: The Kenyans and Ethiopians have had nearly four years to devise the perfect plan to dethrone British Olympic and world champion Mo Farah from his rein in the 10,000-meter run. Can they pull it off and restore African dominance? 

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (JAM) looks to continue her own dominance in the women's 100-meter dash after winning gold in Beijing and London.

Swimming: The last day of competition in the pool includes the 4x100-meter medley relay, which could feature Phelps one last time. The U.S. has never lost the men's medley relay since its first year at the Olympics in 1960. Phelps has been in each relay since 2004. On the women's side, Missy Franklin and the American women will look to defend their 2012 gold medal in the medley relay.

- Christopher Chavez

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