Rio 2016 promised to deliver an Opening Ceremony fitting of the city’s journey to host the Olympic Summer Games and delivered in memorable fashion. According to organizers, this was their goal for the ceremony: “We want to change some paradigms of the Olympic ceremonies. We replaced the high-tech approach, the dependence on major electronic and mechatronic effects with an analog inventiveness, making the most of the low-tech spirit, the richness of Brazilian culture and the energy and passion of thousands of volunteers. We are planning a big party, celebrating the inventiveness of a country made up of millions of creative people.”
Indeed, the ceremony had all of that. Other than a smattering of boos for references to the Brazilian government, including during a statement from the interim president, the event was well received in Maracanã stadium. Some of the largest roars came, of course, came for the Brazilian team, but also Team Refugee, a team of refugees competing under the Olympic flag. There was also a certain flag bearer from Togo who was rather oiled and bare-chested that seemed to go over well, but that’s another thing.
While transportation to the stadium was a bit unorganized (there seemed to be mass confusion over where certain buses should drop off passengers), the city should get credit for a quick and efficient exit along the public transportation, which moved people incredibly quickly and with many guides pointing the way in different languages. Here are some images from a memorable evening.