Olympic athletes take to Instagram to share their excitement about the Games

As the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games approaches, athletes from around the world have been taking to Instagram to share photos and videos with their fans. Some Olympians are just leaving the airport to head to Brazil, while others have already settled into their apartments in the Athletes' Village. All of them are pretty excited. IBTimes UK rounds up some of the best posts.

For months, reports about Rio 2016 have focused on the problems and fears, such as concerns about safety, pollution and the Zika virus. However, a focus on the problems is normal in the run up to the games. Once the competitions start, most if not all of the problems fade into the background — at least for the athletes, tourists and millions watching around the world.

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Such negative coverage has a "very simple explanation," according to Michael Heine, director of the Centre for Olympic Studies at Western University. "The event is about sports, but you can't find sporting material because the whistle hasn't gone yet," said Heine. "So what else do you write about?"

It is clear the athletes can't wait for the whistle to go, either. Some, like Team GB sprinter Harry Aikines, have found novel ways to entertain themselves (and their fans) while they wait for the Games to commence.

Others, like Team GB boxer Lawrence Okolie, have left the entertaining to actual entertainers like Wretch 32.

US swimmer Ryan Lochte chose to while away the time by having his hair dyed blue.

Rafael Nadal seems to have spent his time posing for selfies with other athletes, such as Syrian refugee Rami Anis and US fencing star Ibtihaj Muhammad.

Finally, there's Australian athlete Genevieve LaCaze, who seems chilled about waiting. Very chilled.

The Rio 2016 Olympic Games opening ceremony starts at 8pm Rio time (midnight in the UK) on Friday 5 August.

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