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Rio’s Olympic Villages Inspire the Next Generation of Athletes

As the world’s greatest athletes prepare for the Games in Brasil, Nike partners with the City of Rio de Janeiro to ensure the area’s young athletes also have a sustained opportunity to pursue their potential.

The partnership includes 22 community and sport recreation centers, historically known as the “Olympic Villages,” spread throughout the metropolis. The mission is to inspire a lifelong love of movement in local kids  — Brasilian kids are the least active in Latin America — and, ultimately, help transform their communities. This effort will also harness the spirit of Nike’s Vem Junto invitation to generate a movement throughout Rio’s communities to drive change through sport.

Explore the 22 Villages, with a focus on Encantado, in the interactive map below

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Each of the villages will receive training in youth programming, plus Nike product and equipment. In addition, the villages of Encantado, Caju, Mato Alto and Acari will be renovated and host inspiring brand activities and engagement with Nike store athletes.

“The Olympic Games are such a great opportunity for all kids to see and experience a variety of sports, and see those men and women playing and winning and overcoming obstacles,” says Alice Gismonti, Nike’s Director of Community Impact in Brasil. “If you ask kids in Brasil some athletes’ names, they will probably give the name of a male football athlete. Especially for the girls, this will be an amazing opportunity to start seeing themselves as athletes.”    

In order to maximize impact and ensure long-term contribution to the lives of Rio’s kids, Nike consulted not only with the city and its community representatives, but also with youth experts, NGOs, local artists and others to learn about life in the neighborhoods surrounding the Villages, as many of the sites are situated in the city’s most under-resourced areas, with safety concerns, lack of infrastructure or other issues that limit mobility. On average, kids in these communities only play within a mile from home.

“We have over 160 neighborhoods and 6.4 million people in Rio,” says Gismonti. “It would be impossible to transport kids to the program; we need to bring the program to the kids. If we can build a platform throughout the city where those kids can start experiencing sport in all its dimensions, and where they can count on participating in those activities after the Games end, we can change how this new generation of kids will look at sport moving forward.”

This partnership with the City of Rio de Janeiro is just the latest example of Nike’s dedication to positive change and community impact in Brasil. Over the past decade, Nike – in collaboration with partners in Rio and Sao Paulo – has developed and continues to support 14 projects dedicated to providing kids with positive early sports experiences. This includes “Designed to Move,” which is committed to getting kids active in their communities and schools.

August 4: Clara Nunes Olympic Village

Skateboarders Gabriel Fortunato, Pamela Rosa and Yuri Fachinni joined hundreds of community members in celebration of the redesigned Clara Nunes Olympic Village on August 4.   

Read more about the Clara Nunes celebration here.

About Nike Community Impact

Nike believes in the power of sport to move the world and unleash human potential. However, the world is moving less and less, and today's generation of children is the least physically active ever. That’s why Nike works to get kids (ages 7-12) active early and for life, because active kids are happier, healthier and more successful. Together with its employees, partners, consumers and athletes, Nike also supports important causes that strengthen communities across the globe. Learn more.