Rio Unveils Souvenirs and Mascots for 2016 Olympics

March 9, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. advance / ædˈvæns, -ˈvɑns / (v.) – to develop or to progress
Example: The preparation for the upcoming event has advanced rapidly.

2. mascot / ˈmæs kɒt, -kət / (n.) – an object, person, or animal that represents a group or an organization
Example: We decided to use a bear for our team’s mascot.

3. flip-flop / ˈflɪpˌflɒp / (n.) – a type of rubber sandals that are loose and flat
Example: I always wear flip-flops when attending pool parties.

4. predominantly / prɪˈdɒm ə nənt li/ (adv.) – mainly or in most parts
Example: The members of the organizing committee are predominantly Brazilians.

5. behind schedule / bɪˈhaɪnd ˈskɛdʒ ul, -ʊl, -u əl / (idiom) – late or not meeting the previously set time or deadline
Example Because the preparations are behind schedule, we had to postpone the event.


Read the text below.
Rio de Janeiro advances its preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games as it reveals its souvenir items and mascots for the big event.

Sylmara Multini, the licensing director for Rio 2016, said the souvenir items will feature and emphasize Brazilian fashion. The souvenirs include sarongs, sunglasses, and flip-flops—all of which are iconic in Brazil.

Aside from the souvenir items, the organizers also revealed the official Olympic and Paralympic mascots last November 2014. The Olympic mascot named “Vinicius” is a combination of some animals in Brazil and is predominantly yellow. On the other hand, the green and blue Paralympic mascot, Tom, represents the plant diversity of Brazil.

The mascots will be the official characters of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Alongside the sarongs, sunglasses, and flip-flops, Vinicius and Tom stuffed toys and pins will also be available in the stores in Rio de Janeiro during the event.

However, the plans for the souvenir items are just a small part of the event’s preparation. Organizers are actually busier with the construction of the venues to be used in the event. While the construction of some venues is behind schedule, Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes said that all venues will be ready and functional just in time for the Games.

The city still has more than a year to complete all preparations needed for the event. Rio 2016 is set to start on August 5, 2016 and will conclude on August 21, 2016.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Aside from those mentioned in the article, what other types of souvenirs do you think the committee can sell for the Olympics? Kindly discuss your answer.
·         In your opinion, how can the Olympic souvenirs help Brazil economically?

Discussion B

·         Do you think it is appropriate to spend a lot of money for sports events such as the Olympics? Why or why not?
·         Do you think your country is ready to host the Olympics? Why is that so?

March 9, 2015