I love the Olympics.  Every four years I watch the eccentric Opening Ceremony, the hard to follow sports, (omnium – you are the main culprit here) and the tearful medal ceremonies. Watching athletes, the best in the world, is a privilege.

Statue of Christ the Redeemer, Corcovado Mountain

By Artyominc via Wikimedia Commons


I was lucky enough to visit the Olympic Park for the London 2012 Olympics as it opened, seeing the stunning landscape in pristine perfection.

Olympic Park Meadow

Despite all the concerns in the build up to Rio 2016 (Olympic rule #1 – there are always concerns in the run up) it has been a fantastic Games. One of the stars for me has been the stunning setting of Rio de Janeiro with the statute of Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain.

Another striking landmark is the instantly recognisable Copacabana Promenade. The distinctive black and white design must be one of the few landscapes that can be recognised from the paving alone.

The promenade was originally created in the 1930s, using a traditional black and white Portuguese pavement design. In the 1970s the 4 kilometre promenade was redesigned and rebuilt by Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx. Marx added new pavements for the opposite side of the seafront and for the traffic islands. Burle Marx’s style was modernist and he frequently used bold, abstract designs along with tropical planting schemes.

The scheme was designed to be viewed from the hotels and apartments along the coast. Thanks to Google Maps it is easy to get a sense of the scale and complexity of this iconic landscape.

Enjoy the rest of the Olympics!