The time has finally arrived and the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil will kick-off with the Opening Ceremonies on Friday, August 5th.
Amid a variety of controversies and terrorist related world events recently, the games will begin as planned. Concerns over the zika virus has weakened the field of competitors to a small extent as some athletes have dropped out due to their concerns.
There are also security concerns in the wake of recent terrorist attacks in multiple countries around the world in recent weeks and months.
Competition in some events will actually begin prior to the opening ceremonies but will begin to ramp up beginning on Saturday, August 6th.
Here are some athletes to watch as the games begin;
Michael Phelps, Swimming
Phelps is the most decorated Olympian of all-time with a total of 22 medals earned over three Olympic games with 18 of those Gold. He will be competing in the 110m butterfly, the 200m butterfly and the 200m individual medley. He will also be swimming in several relays as determined by the coaches.
This will most likely be Phelps last Olympics but he is still expected to add more gold, silver or bronze to his record totals.
Usain Bolt, Athletics
Bolt is the best sprinter of all-time and will compete in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m sprints. Some are questioning his health for these games after a hamstring tear in early July at the Jamaican Olympic trials.
However, Bolt is the defending Olympic champion in all three events and he even as he approaches the age of 30 I wouldn’t count him out. He won the 2015 world championships in all three events in Beijing.
Simone Biles, Gymnastics
This could be a breakout year for Biles as she enters the games as the three-time reigning world all-around champion. Biles is strong in all of the events and has the potential to win multiple medals for the United States including gold.
Will all that she has already accomplished these will be her first Olympic games.
Chris Froome, Cycling
Froome is coming off of his third Tour de France victory in the last four years. The cycler from Great Britain will be competing in the time trial and the road race events.
He won Bronze at the London games in 2012 at the time trial and hopes to improve on that this time around. Having just won the Tour earlier in July it will be interesting to see how much he has left in the tank for the Olympic games.
Although the World Cup is the ultimate goal in International Soccer (Brazil has won five of them) they have yet to win an Olympic gold. Playing in front of large contingents of their own fans in Brazil, Neymar would like to change that.
As one of the best soccer players in the world, Neymar made the decision to participate in this year’s games and is looking to lead his team to a gold medal.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Athletics
The other Jamaican sprinter (aside from Bolt) is the diminutive female sprinter who is a star in her own right. Fraser-Pryce will compete in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m events in Rio.
She is the two-time defending Olympic champion at 100m and looks to become the first to do so three times. Fraser-Pryce already could be considered the greatest female sprinter of all-time and after the Rio games we will most likely know for sure.