Host City: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Date Started: August 3, 2016
Date Finished: August 20, 2016
Participants: 473 (270 men and 203 women) from 23 countries
Youngest Participant: Ellie Carpenter (16 years, 98 days)
Oldest Participant: Formiga (38 years, 154 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 106 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): Germany (2 medals)
Once again 16 menâs and 12 womenâs team took part, with a total of 58 matches being played (32 men, 26 women). Two countries made their football dÃ©but in 2016: Fiji (men) and Zimbabwe (women). Apart from hosts Brazil, the only other nations to compete in both the menâs and womenâs tournaments were Colombia, Germany, South Africa and Sweden. South Korea were appearing in their eighth consecutive Olympics whilst Brazilâs men were appearing for the 11th time. As at previous Games, male players had to be under the age of 23 on or after 1 January 2016, although each country was allowed three over-age players. There was no age limit on female players.
Because of the size of Brazil, matches were played at venues spread out over the vast country, including the Arena da AmazÃ´nia at Manaus, the capital of the Amazon Rain Forest region, which was over 1,700 miles from Rio. The other venues were MineirÃ£o (Belo Horizonte), EstÃ¡dio Nacional ManÃ© Garrincha (Brasilia), Arena Fonte Nova (Salvador), Arena Corinthians (SÃ£o Paulo), EstÃ¡dio OlÃmpico JoÃ£o Havelange (Rio de Janeiro) and the iconic MaracanÃ£ (also Rio de Janeiro). All except EstÃ¡dio OlÃmpico hosted FIFA World Cup Games in 2014. No stadium in Olympic history has housed a bigger crowd than the MaracanÃ£ did for the final game of the 1950 FIFA World Cup between Brazil and Uruguay, when 199,854 filled the stadium despite efforts to restrict the maximum to 150,000. The capacity in 2016 was more than 120,000 fewer than that record attendance in 1950. For the first time, goal-line technology using Hawkeye was used at the Olympics and a fourth substitute was allowed, but only if a game went into extra-time.
In the early part of the competition it looked as though Brazil were going to miss out on that elusive medal, but they came good as the tournament wore on, as did their star [Neymar]. In an end-to-end final against Germany, Neymar became a national hero when he converted the match-winning penalty in the shoot-out to win gold, adding to Brazilâs five silver and one bronze medal from previous Games. For the German men, they are still looking for their first Olympic title, but their women compensated by beating Sweden to win their first womenâs gold, after three previous bronze medals. For the beaten finalists Sweden, it was their first womenâs medal, while Canada won the bronze medal for the second consecutive Games. The big story of the womenâs tournament was the United Statesâ failure to reach the final for the first time since womenâs football was introduced into the Olympic programme at Atlanta in 1996. They were eliminated by Sweden in the quarter-finals in the first womenâs Olympic match to be decided on penalties.