Rio 2016 taxi drivers receive English language offer for Games

Photo: Rio 2016 sailing venue in Gloria neighbourhood, where taxi drivers can register for English lessons (via 

If you’re heading to Rio 2016 for the Olympic Games next year and feel guilty that your Rosetta Stone Portuguese package is collecting dust in a corner near your cat’s hideout, have no fear, language help may be arriving from your future host.

According to the organizers, Rio 2016 is offering “10,000 online English courses” beginning on Monday to the city’s taxi drivers. Participants who succeed in the organizers’ aim to improve communication between tourists and the host city, will “receive a certificate of recognition from the Ministry of Education” according to the Games’ official website.

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

Interactions with taxi drivers may prove vitally important in the wee hours of the morning in Rio, as it was announced that due to U.S. television concerns, many marquee events such as swimming, beach volleyball, basketball and others may finish well after midnight, as late as 1:30 a.m. local time in some cases.

Rio’s time zone is one and four hours ahead of major television markets of New York and Los Angeles respectively, and in an era when global consensus is everyone should be able to stream sports live on laptops, tablets and mobile phones anytime from anywhere, old school television and its vaunted “prime time” still calls the shots in scheduling it seems.