Olympic Games to be shown on the Smíchov waterfront

Czechs will have 105 athletes competing for the gold in the Rio Games

If you want to watch the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, but are a bit reluctant to fly all the way to Brazil, there is an alternative: Watching it on the waterfront in Smíchov. Of course, you can watch on TV at home, but where is the fun in that?

Organizers will have large screens set up and there will be live music and other events. The screens will be in place as of Monday, Aug. 8, a couple of days after the Aug. 5 start of the event. Games can be viewed from 3 pm to 10 pm. The Games run until Aug. 21, with 308 events in 28 sports.

The place in Smíchov is not an official Olympic Park, as some towns have. There will be no Olympic flags or symbols. Instead the waterfront viewing area will be decorated with Brazilian flags.

Prague 5 Deputy Mayor Lukáš Herold said that there were no similar Olympic viewing events planned in the city.

Aside from providing fans a place to cheer for Czech athletes, the viewing area is meant to draw attention to Czech sports clubs operating in the Prague 5 district, which includes Smíchov. People will have the opportunity to play rugby and golf, and nearby there is a rock climbing wall, laser shooting range and a skate park.

An official Olympic Park in Lipno nad Vltavou in South Bohemia opens Aug. 5 and is located next to a lake behind a dam. People there will be able to try sports including water sports. There are also Olympic Parks in Plzeň, Pardubice and Ostrava.

The motto of the Rio Games is “a new world” and some 206 countries or territories will be participating, which is a record number. Some 11,000 athletes are expected. Kosovo and South Sudan are participating for the first time.

This is the first Olympics to be held in South America, where it is now technically winter. It is also the first to be held in a Portuguese-speaking country. It is not the first Olympics in Latin America, though. The 1968 Games were in Mexico City.

The Rio Games are not without controversy. Many people questioned whether the country should spend so much on a one-off event when there were more important issues to tackle. Some spending on housing and transportation will have a long-term benefit, though. The appearance of the Zika virus and the water quality at venues also caused concern.

The Czech Republic will be at the Summer Olympics for the sixth time, having previously participated as part of Czechoslovakia, and before World War I as Bohemia. There will be 63 men and 42 women participating in events.

In the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Czechs won four gold medals, three silver and three bronze.

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