At one point, it looked like the games could be cancelled. But the carnival spirit has prevailed.
For Rio de Janeiro and for Brazil, these Olympic Games arrived at the worst possible time.
Instead of showcasing a rising global power with a booming economy, the 2014 Games put a spotlight on Brazil's most serious economic recession since the 1930s, along with a host of social problems.
A JR giant.
© Beatriz Garcia
It's time to finally put art on the Olympic map, prove the sceptics wrong, and renew and advance some of the more tired aspects of the Games staging process.
Against the odds, Rio scores soft-power points with memorable show at Maracanã stadium.
Partially demolished houses in the Vila Autodromo favela, with the Olympic Park in the background.
An architect rides through the streets of Rio amidst a cacophony of drills and jackhammers. He wonders: Is it worth it? What will the legacy of all this construction be?
The party’s begun.
The Olympics may give Brazilians a respite from their perfect storm of recession, corruption and political dysfunction, but it won't last long.
New York, Berlin and Paris have all suffered some ill effects from online rental platforms – without proper regulations, Rio could follow.
A colorized 1937 photograph of a shantytown on the outskirts of Seattle.
Like Brazil's favela dwellers, America's working poor felt a sense of pride and community in their shantytowns – and desperately resisted the powerful interests that sought to demolish them.
Can Brazil deliver at this year’s Olympic Games?
The 2016 Olympic Games is an invitation to a city known for partying more than anything else.
Changing a centuries-old format will take some big thinking.
With the one-city format no longer viable, an Olympics expert proposes a radical new vision for the format of the Olympic Games. It actually makes a lot of sense.
Academics have sent an open letter to the World Health Organisation calling for the Olympics to be postponed or moved because of the Zika threat. They're overreacting.
Brisbane aspires to be a truly smart and connected city.
Australia's Smart Cities Plan largely conveys a limited role for people: they live, work and consume. This neglects the rich body of work calling for better human engagement in smart cities.
Fire in the hole?
Fernando Bizerra Jr./EPA
With an ongoing impeachment process and a deep economic recession, the host nation is on thin ice ahead of one of the world's largest sporting mega-events.
Why we should stop panicking about whether the Olympic venues will be ready and start thinking about the long-term impacts of construction.
Hosting a mega-event isn't all it's cracked up to be - and now some cities are starting to say 'no'.
Given Brazil’s chaotic sociopolitical situation, the legacy the 2016 Olympic Games will leave remains unclear.
Mega sports event promoters use the term 'legacy' extensively to justify the amount of – mostly public – money involved in the bid and execution of such events.
Australia’s shared past with Brazil enriches understanding of the two former European colonies.
The First Fleet had three layovers on its voyage to Australia – one was Rio de Janeiro. As Australia and Brazil celebrate 70 years of diplomatic relations, it's worth remembering this encounter.
Mexico City Uber protests on July 29.
Some theorists suggest that such platforms are making our world more efficient by natural selection. The reality is a little more complicated.
Can the carnival spirit, combined with sport, help deal with Brazil’s social issues?
With final preparations now underway for next week’s annual Rio de Janeiro carnival, and as the hype builds for this year’s FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, it’s almost inevitable images…