2016 Rio Olympics

The public diplomacy potential of the Olympic Games. 

It is quite evident that Saudi Arabia has recently focused on improving its public image and reputation abroad, given its numerous attempts at opening itself to the international arena, and through diplomatic measures aimed at nursing the country’s image deficit. The role of women has surfaced at the forefront of its public diplomacy efforts. 

Judo cannot change the world, but it can help create the community, empathy and understanding needed to begin the process toward greater social justice and equality. So, when you are watching the Rio Olympics this month, be sure to cheer on Kayla Harrison, the only American to earn an Olympic gold medal in Judo. Afterward, check out your local dojo. It is truly never too late to learn more about yourself and your community.

The Olympics brings together athletes from countries with vastly different attitudes and laws for LGBT people. The event has in recent years become a site for diplomacy around global LGBT rights. The increasing number of athletes who are comfortable publicly discussing their sexuality is an indication of how successful that campaign has been.

Headlines unpacked Brazil's potential public diplomacy gains from hosting the Olympics. 

The team, comprised of ten refugee athletes from Syria, South Sudan, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, will compete in the Rio 2016 Olympics and march in the Opening Ceremony tomorrow. The International Olympic Committee is funding the team to draw attention to the global refugee crisis. UNHCR released a 90-second film about the refugee athletes today, which is hosted on the organisation’s YouTube page. 

As acting president Michel Temer has highlighted, a key goal is to present a vision to the world of a modern, vibrant democracy and stable emerging market that is a prime destination for future investment and tourism. Former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has also asserted that, with billions watching, Brazil has a first-class opportunity to show it “can be a great country” after a troubled time.

Anjelina Nada Lohalith, who will compete in the 1,500-meter run, told reporters at Rio’s Tom Jobim airport that participating at the games was “really important, because I know I am going to represent thousands of refugees from around the world.”