Your guide to the Rio Olympics: These are the events you can't afford to miss

By Kirstin Buick
05 August 2016

Make sure you don't miss Chad, Wayde and all the SA stars!

The day has finally arrived for all the glitz and glamour of the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro!

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But in case you hadn’t noticed, a few events at the Olympics already kicked off the day before yesterday, and South Africa was taking part!

Two days ago our woman’s soccer team unfortunately lost 0-1 to the Swedes. But our men in the golden boots played hard and managed to draw 0-0 when they played the host nation.

Tonight all eyes will be on the gigantic 78 000 seating Maracanã stadium for the showy opening ceremony which is traditionally seen as the kick-off for the major sporting event.

Given the time difference between South Africa and Brazil you’re going to have to stock up on coffee if you want to if you want to watch the spectacle live.

The ceremony begins just before 01:00 and will be broadcast on SABC2 as well as different SuperSport channels, including SS4, SS5, SSM and SS3. The ceremony is expected to continue until 05:00.

If you’re not really a night owl, you can wake up early and catch the ceremony on SS5 at 06:00 on Saturday morning.

Highlights of the ceremony will also be shown during the day on Saturday, at 10:20, 11:20, 12:20 and 13:20 on SS6 and for the last time at 14:25 on SS4. The SABC channel will unfortunately not broadcast the highlights.

Quick facts about the ceremony

The organisers are planning all sorts of fun for the ceremony which promises to capture the culture of Brazil, and specifically that of Rio de Janeiro.

Some of the performances that are expected:

  • Brazilian model Gisele Bündchen is apparently going to be robbed on the runway! It is apparently to show the “urbanisation of Brazil”. The thief will apparently then run in and amongst the crows and chased by the police.
  • More than 6000 dancers in colourful outfits will perform the carefully choreographed routines which they’ve been practising since May.
  • The famous South American slums – or favela’s – will also be depicted.
The organisers decided to, unlike what happened at the 2012 London games, to not blow a massive chunk of the budget on the opening ceremony. According to reports only 10% of the budget was used on the opening and closing ceremonies of the games. Three of Brazil’s most talented filmmakers, Fernando Meirelles (City of God), Daniela Thomas (Linha de Passe) and Andrucha Waddington (Lope), are lending their creativity to the ceremony.

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But if the extravagance of the opening ceremonies is only a sideshow for you - and you’re actually waiting to catch the sporting action, check below to see what’s happening this weekend.

Which events are happening this weekend?

Swimming Everyone’s favourite event, swimming, kicks off in all earnest this weekend. On Saturday at 18:00 the 400m freestyle heats start on SS4 and SSM. Our Olympic hopeful, Chad le Clos, swims in his first item, the 200m freestyle, on Sunday at 18:19. This event will be broadcast as part of SS5’s general coverage of swimming events which will start at 17:55.

Dream big #rio2016

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Read more: Chad Le Clos reveals heartbreaking news ahead of Rio Olympics


Highlights of the soccer match between SA and Brazil which happened two days ago will be broadcast at 5:45 on SS4.

After our woman’s soccer team’s loss against the Swede’s you can look forward to their second match against China at midnight on Sunday. It will be shown on SABC1 and SS4. The men in the gold boots will play their second match against Denmark on Sunday night at around midnight, on SABC1. Gymnastics During this year’s games everyone’s eyes are on the agile American, Simone Biles. The talented gymnast takes part in her first even on Sunday. Woman’s gymnastics begins at 14:50 and you can watch the action live on SS5. If you are really crazy about gymnastics you can watch the men’s events at around 15:25 on SS4 and SSM.

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Other events that start this weekend


Boxing kicks off at 22:00 on SS5. Woman’s fencing starts at 20:55 on SS4 while men’s water polo is on SS7 at 13:50.


The woman’s synchronised diving event starts at about 20:55 on SS4. Croatia plays basketball against Spain at around 23:50 on SS6.

No DSTV? No worries!

During the course of the games SABC will broadcast a highlights package every morning at 06:45 which will keep you up to date on the latest results and medal count.

Every day from 10:00 until 12:00 you can also look forward to highlight of the days sporting events, participants profiles and the goings on in Rio de Janeiro.

The public broadcaster will also broadcast the heats in various sporting events at night from 22:00 until 05:00.

On SABC3 you can catch the days highlights from 23:30 until 04:30, especially tennis, volleyball and golf.

During the course of the games SABC1 will broadcast all the important soccer and basketball games.

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