5 things to look out for at Rio 2016 Olympics

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rio 2016 written on a tropical beach

What will you be watching this year?

The Olympics are here again, that four year trip into the world of athletics, countries you’ve never heard of and the knowledge you always have something to watch on the TV.

But though Neymar, Usain Bolt, Zika and the whole Russian doping scandal may take the headlines, we think it’s important to look out for a few other great happenings at this Olympics.

So here’s five things you really shouldn’t miss.

The refugee team

The 21st century hasn’t exactly shown itself to be the age of peace and prosperity we all hoped for, and that sadly means we find ourself in a position where we have a lot of refugees, mostly from countries like Syria.

As a way of showing solidarity with them, the International Olympic Committee decided that Team Refugees should be created, as after all, within that tragedy there is always going to be a lot of hope,and a lot of talent.

One to look out for, is Syrian swimmer, Yusra Mardini, who when fleeing Syria, came into trouble Her boat took on water in the Aegean Sea, and she, her sister and two other people were the only ones who could swim. They then dragged the boat to shore, in a gruelling 3 hour session of bravery. Now she is competing at the biggest show in the world.

A true inspiration.

Rugby returns

Rugby is a sport of aggression, speed and strength. And for the first time since 1924, it is back at the Olympics. Not in the 15 on 15 format, but in the guise of 7s.

We’re big fans of 7s here, as it needs you to be quick, skillful and promotes open rugby. Teams like Fiji, New Zealand and Australia are normally the ones to look for, but it’ll be interesting to see Brazil, 15 a side team has never qualified for a world cup.

Weightlifting

Plagued by doping scandals, with the International Weightlifting Federation banning the Russian team, it is not a sport that can be considered squeaky clean. But there are clean athletes, and some of them are mighty impressive.

Great Britain’s lifters are Rebekah Tiler, from West Yorkshire, and her male counterpart, Sonny Webster.

But for us, the one to watch is the “Iranian Hercules”, aka, Behdad Salimi Kordasiabi. The current champion, a two time world champion and only 26! He holds the snatch record in his weight class (214kg), and who knows, we might see a record broken again?

Hosts Brazil have never won a medal at weightlifting.

Natalie Powell

We had an interview with Natalie Powell back in July of 2014, when she was about to compete at the Commonwealth Games. Now, she has made the step up, and has a real chance of getting the gold.

Judo may be confusing for many, but it is a sport that really needs you to be in shape. So it’s well worth a watch.

Good luck Natalie!

The first Olympian born in the 2000s

How to make you feel old eh?

Well, American table tennis player Kanak Jha, has taken the trophy for the first child of this millennium to compete at the Olympics.

Born on June the 19th, he has already taken the gong for being the youngest participant at the world championships.

And to think, when I was 15, I was washing dishes at the local pub.

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