The Rio 2016 Olympics are upon us, as around 11,000 participating athletes from countries around the world prepare to take part in events ranging from the 100 meter sprint to pole vaulting.
The Games begin in the Brazilian capital Friday with all the bombast that comes with the opening ceremony, rumored to include a skit featuring supermodel Gisele Bundchen. Due to the three-hour time difference between Brazil and the U.K., however, you’ll need to stay awake until 11.40 p.m. to catch the ceremony—and many of the competitions to come over the next two weeks.
If that’s not too late for you, plenty of locations around the U.K. and other European cities will allow you to watch the Games in style with fellow sports lovers.
When and where?
The Olympics kick off on Friday night at 8 p.m. local time.
The two big broadcasters covering the events are the BBC in the U.K. and NBC in the U.S.
Events in London and the U.K.
Where better to watch the 2016 Olympics than the site of the 2012 Games? Stratford’s urban beach, BeachEast, in east London, where the last Olympics were held, is reopening this summer with a Rio 2016 theme. You can watch the key events while lounging in the sand… almost as if you were in Rio yourself.
Head over to London Bridge for the free summer-long London Bridge City Summer Festival, taking place through October, where fans will be able to watch live coverage on the big screen. With the events airing in the late evening, there’s time to catch open-air movie screenings like Top Gun beforehand.
Shoreditch’s Boxpark, known for its big screen on the green and deckchairs, is also screening events. While you’re in Shoreditch, you could also stroll down to The Hoxton Hotel, home to a Rio 2016-themed pop-up bar for the duration of the Games.
If you’re not in the British capital, there are still many places to watch the Games with a communal feeling. Team GB’s official website has just a few “fan zones” that will appear around the U.K.
Events around Europe
Paris’ grand Hotel de Ville has transformed its courtyard into a summer haven complete with volleyball courts and outdoor concert areas, according to the website Travel + Leisure. With Renaissance-era architecture and the river nearby, this is a great location to watch the Games while enjoying the sun. And best of all, it’s free.
If you’re in the German capital Berlin, visit Belushi’s sports bar, which, with its international feel, welcomes sports lovers from all around to watch live events on its big screens. Order yourself a German beer, sit back and relax.
What to eat
If you’re feeling hungry while watching the Games, why not prepare a feast befitting the wonderful cuisine in Brazil?
Brazilian barbecue is, quite frankly, delicious and perfect for this hot summer weather. Dig into some frango churrasco, which is grilled lemon and garlic chicken in English. Or try a moqueca, a sumptuous seafood stew with an infusion of citrusy goodness.
For dessert, it’s incredible how few ingredients you need to make the delightful little balls of heaven known as Beijinho de Coco, which roughly translates to “coconut little kisses.” They don’t take much skill to make and you just need some dessicated coconut, butter and condensed milk for the recipe. Put them in the fridge and enjoy as and when you need a sugar hit.
Toast the Games
The later event times for Rio 2016 means it’ll be perfectly acceptable to drink a beer, or rather a Brahma, while watching.
You can also try one of these drinks:
Caipirinha—A citrusy cocktail with limes, caster sugar, ginger and Cachaça (a Brazilian spirit) will surely quench your thirst on a hot summer’s day.
Batida—Want a thicker cocktail? Try this. The Batida is a mix of Cachaça, coconut milk or fruit juice and sugar. You can also add some condensed milk. The result is a milkshake-like consistency.
Follow the Olympics
With a lot of the events airing after many will have gone to bed, you’re forgiven if you can’t watch as much of the competition as you’d like. Thankfully, there are a few ways to keep on top of the Olympics: