The 2016 Rio Olympic Games will kick off tomorrow morning. It feels like we have been waiting for this moment for a long time. There has been a lot of negative talk in recent weeks, but come tomorrow it is the athletes and their amazing achievements that we will be talking about.
Once that Olympic flame is lit at the Opening Ceremony, we can stop hearing about polluted water, nasty mosquitoes and dodgy Olympic villages. Kitty Chiller might actually let the athletes do some more of the media if we’re lucky!
The Rio Olympic Games presents so many possibilities and questions to be answered for the sports mad country of Australia.
Can the Dolphins find redemption in the pool? After a horror London Olympics, our Aussie swimmers are out for one thing. Success. Who will be the better sister? Bronte or Kate Campbell. The better sibling? Emma McKeon or David McKeon? The biggest medal winner? Cameron McEvoy. James Magnussen. Can he put his London horror to bed with some relay success?
Anna Meares heads up a cycling team at what will most likely be her final Games. Can she grab another medal? Can Rohan Dennis and Richie Porte shake things up on the road or will the Brits dominate the sport again like did in London?
The Hockeyroos are out for a taste of success with little of that achieved in London, while the Kookaburras will be aiming to reclaim some gold after a bronze medal four years ago.
In the basketball, the Aussies have the best team they’ve ever assemled. Patty Mills, Andrew Bogut, Matthew Dellavedova and Joe Ingles. What can they do to shake the might of the U S of A?
Then there are the lesser known Aussies. Gymnast Larrissa Miller who holds the fortunes of Australia’s gymnastics reputation in her hands or maybe even her routines perhaps. Jessica Fox in the canoe slalom – will she add to Australia’s gold rush? Annette Edmondson on the cycling track. She is a great chance of doing something special too.
On an international scale, will we see Chris Froome back up from a Tour de France win by winning gold medal on the road in Rio? That would be no mean feat.
Michael Phelps in the pool. He is already probably the greatest swimmer of all time. Imagine what a couple more medals would do for his legacy.
And then there is Usain Bolt. His last Olympics and while his pace might not be world record-breaking anymore, you’d be surprised if anyone can come close to the greatest runner on the planet.
This is just a tiny taste of what the next seventeen or so days could bring.
Heroes will be made. Legendary stories will be etched into history. Underdogs will get up, favourites will succumb to pressure.
Book your annual leave, be prepared for early morning TV viewing and don’t forget to take your device to work to sneakily watch those events that matter.
It all begins from 6am tomorrow.
You can catch me live tweeting my thoughts and reactions to all the big events over on Twitter @liamthompson1.
Let the biggest 17 days of sport this year begin!