Rio 2016: Everything you need to know

The Olympic Games finally get underway in Rio on Friday.

Here's everything you need to know about the 19 days of competition:

  • When does the Rio Olympics start and end?

The Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics 2012. Credit: PA

The Opening Ceremony will be held in the Rio's rebuilt Maracana Stadium on August 5, 8pm local time, which is midnight for UK viewers. It will last for approximately four hours.

Interestingly, not all events will start after the Opening Ceremony.

The Olympic football tournament is already underway, and other events - including preliminary rounds in archery and equestrian - are being held just a few hours before the competition 'officially' opens.

The final event in Rio is the men's marathon race, which is held on the same day as the Closing Ceremony - August 21.

In an eight-minute segment during the ceremony (also staged at the Maracana Stadium), the baton will be passed on to Tokyo who will host the next Olympic Games in 2020.

  • Who is lighting the torch?

Muhammad Ali lit the Atlanta Olympic flame in 1996. Credit: PA

This is always a closely guarded secret, but the current favorite to take on the role is Brazilian football legend Pele.

  • Who is not going to the Olympics?

Golfer Rory McIlroy. Credit: Reuters

Many athletes have decided not to compete in Brazil because of the threat posed by the Zika virus.

Other athletes, noticeably Greg Rutherford (who had his sperm frozen) have decided to travel, but take precaution.

Golfers Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Jason Day will be absent, as will tennis players Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, with basketball players LeBron James, Steph Curry and Kawhi Leonard also opting to stay at home.

  • Which members of Team GB should I know?

Mo Farah won two gold medals in London 2012. Credit: Martin Rickett / PA

Sir Bradley Wiggins: The four-time Olympic gold medalist will take part in his final Olympic Games. If he wins any medal, he will overtake Sir Chris Hoy's tally of seven.

Andy Murray: Fresh from his Wimbledon triumph, he will be hoping to replicate his gold medal at London 2012.

Nicola Adams: Currently the Olympic, World, Commonwealth and European champion in the flyweight division.

William Fox-Pitt: Was placed in an induced coma 10 months ago after a fall at the World Young Horse Championships. His rehabilitation complete, Fox-Pitt will take part in his fifth Olympic Games.

Mo Farah: The double Olympic gold medalist at London 2012 will hope to make history in Rio. Only one man, Lasse Viren, has successfully defended both titles (1972-76).

Jessica Ennis-Hill: The poster girl for London 2012 could make history in Rio by becoming the first British female track and field athlete to retain an Olympic title.

In addition, ITV News sports correspondent Ian Payne has compiled his list of 10 British athletes to watch in Rio.

  • Anyone else I should know?

Usain Bolt will take part in his final Olympic Games in Rio. Credit: PA

Michael Phelps: The most successful Olympian of all time with 22 medals (18 gold) will take part in his fifth and final Games.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce: Going for a third-straight Olympic gold for Jamaica in the 100m, a feat no other woman has managed to achieve.

Justin Gatlin: At 34, he is the oldest sprinter to make the American team and tasked with stopping Usain Bolt. He has served a four-year ban for a doping violation, so expect to hear much more should he be successful.

Neymar will line up for Brazil. Credit: PA

Usain Bolt: The world's fastest man, six-time Olympic gold medalist and world-record holder in both the 100m and 200m sprint. He has previously said Rio will be his last Olympics.

Oksana Chusovitina: At 41, she will become the oldest female gymnast in Olympic history. By comparison, US athlete Aly Raisman is 22, and nicknamed 'grandma' by teammates.

Neymar: Leading the line for the Brazilian football team, and will try to make amends for their 7-1 loss to Germany in the 2014 World Cup.

  • What are the key events to watch?

MIchael Phelps has targeted Olympic glory in Rio. Credit: PA

You should make a note in the diary for these events, especially August 13 which could turn out to be another 'Super Saturday' for Team GB:

  • August 10: 06:00, Swimming finals - various events which could feature Michael Phelps, Missy Franklin and Team GB's relay squad

  • August 12: 16:00, Men's doubles tennis - Andy and Jamie Murray could feature

  • August 13: 00:50 Men's long jump final - will Greg Rutherford win gold?

  • August 13: 01:55, Men's 10,000m final - possibly including Mo Farah

  • August 13: 02:45, Women's heptathlon finishes - featuring Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson

  • August 13: 20:00, Track cycling finals - likely to feature Team GB and Bradley Wiggins

  • August 14: 01:00, Men's Swimming 4x100m medley relay final - likely to be Michael Phelp's last ever swim.

  • August 14: 23.20, Men's track 100m final - Bolt v Gatlin v the world. The showpiece event of the games and it'll be over in less than 10 seconds.

  • August 18: 02:30, Men's 200m final - likely to be Usain Bolt's last ever Olympic final

  • August 19: 02:45, Women's and Men's 4x100m relay - Team GB v Jamaica

  • What sports aren't taking part?

eSports has attracted a huge following in recent years. Credit: PA

While golf and rugby sevens will make an appearance in Rio, baseball, softball and e-sports will not take part.