Rio de Janeiro: The Rugby Sevens Olympics debut marks a historic moment for the sport, but it is extra special for seven families who have two of their members competing in the tournament for the ultimate sporting glory.
Making it a family affair are seven pairs of siblings, including two each for New Zealand and hosts Brazil.
For the Kiwis, brother and sister Sonny Bill and Niall Williams will vie for Olympic honours in the men and women team respectively. Double Rugby World Cup winner Sonny has as team mates brothers Akiro and Rieko Ioane, both of whom play for the same team — Blues in Super Rugby and New Zealand at the international stage.
Hosts Brazil have two pairs of siblings, Lucas Duque and Moises Duque and the 22-year-old twins, Felipe and Daniel Sancery.
Incidentally both pairs of brothers play for the same teams at club level — the Duques for Brazilin outfit Sao Jose, and the Sancerys for French club SC Albi.
Making it a family affair for the Spanish team are experienced scrum-half Barbara Pla and her brother Pol Pla. Columbia has in their ranks sisters Nicole and Sharon Acevedo.
Kenya brothers Collins Injera and Humphrey Kayange will also be pivotal to their hopes of a medal.
While the 15-player version of the sport appeared at the Olympic Games between 1900 and 1924, Rio marks the debut of rugby sevens, a faster, shorter adaptation.
Sporting passion on the nails
If sportspersons are known for wearing their heart on their sleeves, female athletes at the Rio Games are wearing them on the nails — literally.
Olympic nail art, featuring intricately decorated nail designs of everything from national flags to Olympic rings, can be seen adorning the fingers and toes of many female athletes.
Among the many to sport the Olympic-themed and national flag manicures are glamorous Puerto Rican tennis player Monica Puig, Japanese women’s rugby sevens captain Chiharu Nakamura, German cyclist Gudi Stock and English shooter Amber Jo Hill.
Pioneering the nail art at the Olympics was three-time gold-medallist Florence Griffith Joyner. Endearingly referred to as “Flo-Jo”, the sprint legend was well known as much for her sports abilities, as for her long, painted nails.
Swedish athletes Emma Green Tregaro and Moa Hjelmer made world headlines at the 2013 World Athletics Championships in Moscow for painting their nails in “rainbow colours” in protest against Russian laws against “gay propaganda”.
‘Tips 4 Gringos’
Welcoming the world to Rio for the globe’s biggest sporting extravaganza, is the “Tips 4 Gringos”, a video series aimed at getting foreigners acquainted with the city and its ways.
Uploaded at the Games official site, the video series features language advice, tips on where to party, where to take the best selfies and what kind of food you can hope to sink your teeth into on Rio’s streets.
The latest video has presenters Elea and Patrick sharing vital tips on correct Portuguese to get you around Rio de Janeiro.
“Gringos” is a term used in Portuguese-speaking countries for tourists.