Saturday marks 1,000 days until Summer Olympic Games - Aug. 5, 2016 - in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) -- The countdown to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics reached 1,000 days on Saturday, a major calendar milestone for the 2016 games.

Cariocas -- as Rio residents are known -- celebrated the date with various activities scattered around several days and various cities.

Games officials opened an observation platform at the Olympic Park, which will be the center of the games in three years. Construction has barely begun on many of the sports venues, and on Saturday the area was only a barren, 291-acre (118 hectares) mud flat.

The park is located in the west of Rio, a 45-minute drive from the city's famous Ipanema and Copacabana beaches.

Sergio Cabral, the governor of Rio state, says "we will be ready when the Olympic Games begin," which is Aug, 5, 2016.

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