There was plenty of color and fireworks at the Maracana stadium as the games commenced.
Image Source: Reuters
Fireworks lit up the Rio skyline as the 2016 Olympics kicked off in grand style.
Over 10,000 athletes will compete in 28 sports at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Andy Murray carried the flag for Great Britain as they entered the stadium.
Image Source: Press Association
Murray described carrying the British flag as the biggest honor in sport.
But there were protests outside the Maracana and tear gas was used by police.
Image: Associated Press
Protesters try and burn an Olympic flag outside the Maracana.
A man protests against the government ahead of the opening ceremony.
Brazilian model Gisele Bundchen featured during the artistic section of the opening ceremony.
The super model, who is married to American football player Tom Brady, walked to the iconic “girl from Ipanema”.
Former long-distance runner Vanderlei de Lima lit the Olympic cauldron at the end of the show.
The Olympic flame formed part of a larger, beautiful sculpture resembling the sun.
The opening ceremony explained and paid homage to the history of Brazil.
Waving signs reading “No to the Olympics!”, about 3,000 people gathered outside the luxury Copacabana Palace Hotel where many Olympic athletes are staying.
Brazil has spent more than £7billion on new infrastructure and preparing for the Games at a time of economic crisis.
The billions lavished on the Games has angered many Brazilians as the country grapples with a tanking economy and mass social problems.
“This party wasn’t done for the people. The Games don’t come close to the reality lived by the poor. So I’m protesting against the lack of finances for our schools and for the way our salaries are only paid in installments,” said teacher Guilherme Moreira Dias, 38.
The ceremony launches 17 days of sporting drama led by a cast of elite athletes including sprint king Usain Bolt and swimming superstar Phelps which wraps up on August 21.
As well as economic problems, Brazil is also in the grip of a political crisis which led to the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff. She refused to attend the ceremony, leaving Temer in her place with a hostile reception from the crowd predicted.
At most Games the lighting of the Olympic flame is a highlight. Who will light the cauldron remains a closely guarded secret after Brazilian football great Pele, 75, said he turned down the honor because of poor health.
Spectators were treated to a vibrant display from the performers at the Maracana. Image: AP
The ceremony was a celebration of Brazilian culture. Image: Reuters
There was a segment about the effects of global warming and climate change. Image: Getty
Rio de Janeiro is hosting the first ever OIympic Games in South America. Image: Getty
Spectators enjoy the spectacle at the Maracana on Friday night. Image: AP
A firework display spelt out the word “Rio” during the ceremony. Image: Keystone
International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach and Brazil interim president Michel Temer watch the ceremony. Image: AP
The Maracana, which will host the football finals, was the venue for Friday’s ceremony. Image: Getty
In keeping with tradition, Greece were the first country to march into the stadium. Image: Reuters
The German team make their way into the Maracana. Image: Getty
Rafael Nadal led the Spanish team into the Maracana on Friday night. Image: Reuters
Swimming legend Michael Phelps leads the United States team into the Maracana. Image Getty
Tonga flagbearer Pita Nikolas Aufatofua caused a stir as he came in shirtless and smothered in oil. Image: Getty
Athletes march into the Maracana to enjoy the opening ceremony. Image: AP
Hosts Brazil were the last country to enter the Maracana and did so to huge cheer.
An estimated three billion TV viewers and 80,000 revelers inside the Maracana Stadium were treated to the sight of scantily-clad dancers passionately saluting Rio’s carnival culture.
James Bond took centre stage at London’s opening ceremony four years ago but his old boss was a star on Friday night. Dame Judi Dench, who played 007 spymaster M, read an environmental poem by Brazilian poet Carlos Drummond de Andrade.
Organiser Mario Andrada said: “She was a volunteer, she did not charge anything and she loved the idea.”
Proud Soffia Corrêa, a 12-year-old rapper known as MC Soffia, was among the 5,000 musicians taking part and performed Menina Pretinha, which translates as “Nightshade Girl”.
The ceremony cast aside months of gloom over building delays, an economic meltdown, doping scandals, security fears and the Zika virus. Executive producer Marco Baluch said: “This is not an opulent event, given the economic situation in Brazil.
“It does not have the grandiosity of Beijing, the huge special effects of Athens, the eccentricity and technological skills of London.
“But it is still an absolutely fantastic show.”
–Culled from The Sun
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