Ready, set, Rio! More than 11,000 athletes from 206 national teams are competing in the 2016 Summer Olympics, which kicked off in Rio de Janeiro on August 5th and will run until August 21st. Everyone is hoping to take home the gold for their country. In Jamaica, all eyes are on hometown superstars Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Toni Ann Williams and the other 56 team members.
Already, the 2016 Rio games are shaping up to be historic for Jamaica.
On the one hand, they mark the end of an era. Usain Bolt, one of the island’s most beloved athletes and one of the world’s most famous runners, has announced his plans for retirement, commenting that Rio will be his last Olympic games. Luckily for us, Bolt won’t officially hang up his running shoes until after competing in the 2017 World Championships, held in London. In Rio, he will take the track field for the first time on Saturday, August 13th to compete in the Men’s 100 meter race. Bolt is hoping to achieve his “Triple-Triple” dream of winning gold in the Men’s 100 meter, 200 meter and the 4×100 meter relay races in three consecutive Olympic games (he’s already won them in London and Beijing). All of Jamaica will be waiting his famous lightning bolt pose for the very last time at the Olympic games.
On the other hand, though, Rio also marks a new beginning. Gymnast Toni-Ann Williams made history when she became the first-ever Jamaican gymnast in Olympic history. She failed to advance past the first round of competition, but she solidified her place in our textbooks. Watch below as we get a behind-the-scenes look into a day in the life of this history-making olympian.
We’ll be live tweeting some of the big events, be sure to follow us on Twitter!
Find a full list of Jamaica’s participation in the Olympic games here.