The Olympic Rings and the Paralympic Agitos, which attracted tourists and locals to Copacabana Beach during the Rio 2016 Games, have remained in the city and now belong to Praça do Trem – a square in Engenho de Dentro, North Zone, that has been revitalized for the event. The two sculptures are exhibited alongside symbols of the Rio Games: the Olympic Stadium (Engenhão) – stage of the football and athletics competitions during the Olympic and Paralympic Games – as well as the Knowledge Vault and the Olympic City Museum. Made of recycled plastic, the sculptures were produced by artist Elisa Brasil and scenographer Tejota Bastos. The material was collected across town with the support of the City of Rio and Eccoponto NGO. The Municipal Olympic Company (EOM), in partnership with the Dopper Foundation, coordinated the design and installation work.
“The symbols of the Rio 2016 Games became tourist attractions, serving as backdrop for thousands of selfies taken by locals and tourists alike. The sculptures were transferred to Praça do Trem, which in itself is one of the great legacies of the Games. It’s a National Heritage site that is now home to the Olympic City Museum and is just beside to the Olympic Stadium,” explained Joaquim Monteiro, EOM President.
During the Games, the works of art were set up at the Copacabana sand strip, fulfilling its role as a message of environmental sustainability and engaging citizens with both events. Both sculptures were fully accessible and open for the public to interact with, just like the Olympic Rings in Madureira Park, the Candelária Pyre, and the hashtag #CidadeOlímpica in Praça Mauá. Inaugurated on July 27, the Olympic Rings remained in Copacabana until the end of August. Being three meters high and six meters long, the sculpture was made with 65 kilos of recycled plastic.
The Paralympic Agitos, on the other hand, were four meters tall and three meters long and were put on display through most of September. The sculpture had textures and scents, a concept of inclusion and interactivity in an artwork that could sharpen our senses. Each Agito had a different texture and color. The blue one, for example, had its outside made of canvas and the inside made of fabric softener bottles, so that it gave off a “smell of clean” that was easily identified, providing a sense of comfort and making you feel at home. The green Agito smelled of mint, while the red one had a guaraná scent.
Resident of Engenho de Dentro, doorkeeper Valter dos Santos Lima, 56, approved of the initiative and was happy to learn that the symbols would be placed outside the Olympic City Museum.
“I work in Copacabana and during the Games I also went to beach to take pictures with the sculptures. But I didn’t think they would stay so close to my house. I just got back from work, and when I realized that they were here, I decided to take another picture. I think it’s really great that the North Zone is getting to keep these symbols, because it increases the appreciation for the area and encourages young people to come here.”
The works of art are now part of the view outside the Knowledge Vault and the Olympic City Museum. Opened on July 5 this year, the venue has already received 21,492 visitors and 11,041 registrations for courses and recreation activities. With high-tech interactive rooms, the space operates in the former Train Repair Shop of Engenho de Dentro, which has been entirely restored and requalified. Located at Rua Arquias Cordeiro, no. 1.516, Praça do Trem is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 am to 9 pm, and on Sundays, 9.30 am to 4.30 pm.
The first floor of the building is home to the Knowledge Vault, an interactive room where the community can experience the Olympic spirit. By sensing the scale and the impact of the Games and their urban transformations in the city, visitors can learn more about the Olympics, science, technology, and sport. Praça do Trem also offers several language courses in the areas of information technology, network infrastructure, graphic production, robotics, the internet of things, graphic design, web design, computer graphics, video production and photography, games, among others.
The Olympic City Museum, on the second floor of the building, has simulators that allow the public to live the experience of being an Olympic athlete. They can compete in a 100-meter race, comparing their speed to that of an athlete; evaluate their stamina in a rowing simulator, individually or in a group; compete in a race on bicycles adapted for people with disabilities; or go hang-gliding while they enjoy the city sights. Visitors can also get near the Olympic torch and see on the simulator the flame that represents the Olympic fire. The site has a collection on the legacy of the Games, in addition to a medal exhibition.
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