Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony
Rio Opening ceremony 2016
Rio comes alive with the 2016 Olympic. Amid all the noise in the buildup to Rio, it's easy to forget that two of the most celebrated Olympians in history are preparing to make their final appearances this month.Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt -- who have earned 28 Olympic medals between them, while reaping millions in endorsement deals -- have confirmed that Rio 2016 will be their last Olympic runs.American swimmer Phelps has won 18 golds, double the next biggest haul in history, while Jamaican sprinter Bolt, has run two Olympic sweeps in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay.
Unless a miracle can preserve the bodies of these once-in-a-generation athletes, a gaping hole in Olympic sponsorship deals will need filling at future games.So which athletes are primed to exit Rio as the new faces of the Olympics?Looking through the line-up, it's hard to pick out one individual on the cusp of the kind of world fame enjoyed by Phelps, and especially Bolt, who was quick to flash his Hollywood smile and thunderbolt stance after winning each of his six golds.
Bolt earned an estimated $30 million last year from endorsement deals alone, and Phelps' annual endorsement haul is an estimated $10 million.
An informal poll of journalists covering the Games did not yield any obvious candidates, but then, both the Jamaican and the American failed to grab many headlines (by their standards) at their first Olympics.At the Sydney 2000 Games, 15-year-old Phelps was the youngest US Olympic swimmer for almost 70 years -- but finished outside the medals in his one event, the 200m butterfly.
In 2004, 17-year-old Bolt went out in the first round of his only event, the 200m.With that in mind, a future Phelps or Bolt might make only a small impression this time around.Here is a selection of candidates for whom Rio could be their launching pad, and one or two whose Olympic super stardom may be some years off.