Once every four years the world’s finest living athletes descend onto a cramped Olympic village in a major world city to run fast, throw stuff and kick various sized balls all in the name of sporting immortality. Few achieve it, but for those that do, the whole world is watching.
But how can I watch it all, I hear you cry/tweet. Well, it’s pretty easy actually. Plus Rio, Brazil is only four hours behind the UK, so you won’t have to stay up too late to see Bolt and Phelps wipe the floor with everyone once again.
How to watch the Olympics Opening Ceremony live stream: When do the Rio 2016 Olympics start? When do the Rio Paralympics start?
The first events of the 2016 Olympics actually started on Wednesday 3 August, but the opening ceremony is on Friday 5 August.
The 2016 Paralympics Games starts on 7 September and runs until 18 September. The opening ceremony will be broadcast on 7 September, we'll have details on how to watch it soon.
It will certainly have a lot to live up to – the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympics was pretty bombastic. If you're in the UK you can watch the whole thing again on BBC iPlayer. Click here to watch the Olympic Opening Ceremony.
How to watch the Olympics live stream: Where to watch the Olympics and Paralympics in the UK online
BBC One and BBC Four
As usual, the BBC will be showing the Olympics in the UK for free. It can’t be found on Sky, BT Sport or ITV. This is a pretty good deal for UK viewers, because as long as you have a TV Licence, then all the major Olympic events (and highlights programmes) are free to view on BBC One and BBC Four.
BBC Red Button
As well as these channels, digital viewers will be able to press the Red Button and access many more options other than the main sport on at that time. In fact, according to a recent survey commissioned by Snell Advanced Media, 49% of UK respondents said they'd use the Red Button to choose which event to watch, rather than just go with what's on the channel. So the Red Button is where it's at.
BBC iPlayer is another option for watching the Olympics online or on your phone or tablet, either live or after the event. It's a free app for Android and iPhone, or you can use a web browser on a PC or laptop. If you want to use iPlayer outside the UK you'll need a VPN (see below).
(As of September you will need a TV Licence to use BBC iPlayer, but this won't affect those wishing to live stream the Olympics in August. See also: Do I need a TV Licence?)
These channels will be unavoidable Olympic-fests for two weeks until 21 August when the Games end, but it’s great that one broadcaster shows it all – it makes it a lot easier for us all to follow.
How to watch the Olympics live stream: Watch Team GB finals
Whenever Team GB is in a final or an exciting event there's only three places you need to go to check out the action. Get an overview of when Team GB is in action by clicking here.
Click here to watch the Olympics on BBC One.
Click here to watch the Olympics on BBC Four.
The BBC Sport website also has streams of a lot of the action. You can watch live as well as hihglights.
Click here to watch the Olympics on the BBC Sport website.
How to watch the Olympics outside the UK using a VPN
If you want to watch the Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympics from outside the UK then you may want to use a VPN service. If you're keen to watch using UK services, then you'll need to use a VPN (virtual private network) like Nord VPN to 'browse from the UK'.
Also check out our best VPN services chart.
The BBC has put together a day-by-day guide to the major events at the Olympics, which you can check out here.
How to watch the Olympics on phone or tablet: How to stream the Olympics and Paralympics on iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone, PCs, laptop
If you’re away from the telly it’s easy to stream the action on your portable tech of choice. There are a few options, but it’s best to download the excellent, free BBC iPlayer app on to your device and then use that to watch BBC One or BBC Four live. Alternatively, the app will also store a plethora of catch-up and on-demand highlights programmes for you to enjoy.
Click here to download BBC iPlayer app for iOS (iPhone and iPad)
Click here to download BBC iPlayer app for Android devices (smartphones and tablets)
Click here to download BBC iPlayer app for Windows Phones (also for Windows tablets)
And of course, you can simply visit the BBC iPlayer website on your PC, Mac or laptop to watch it all too – just click here.